Christmas party game: Guess the gesture.  

A solicitor has been rebuked by the SRA for making a crude gesture to a colleague at an office Christmas party. 

Samuel Thorne was working as an associate at Russell-Cooke at the time. In December 2017 he made a "lewd gesture" to a colleague at the Christmas party which was witnessed by other staff. Someone was videoing the incident, which ensured that his actions were preserved and the footage eventually found its way to the SRA.

The SRA's report failed to specify exactly what the action was, although the regulator said in a statement that it was "sexual in nature". So it was probably that one, that you're thinking of.

Thorne's handiwork was significant enough for the SRA to find that he had breached SRA Principles of: acting with integrity; not damaging the public trust placed in the provision of legal services; and carrying out his role in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity.

The SRA issued Thorne with a written rebuke and ordered him to pay £600 in costs.

The regulator said that its decision was "an appropriate and proportionate sanction" as Thorne’s conduct "demonstrated a lack of integrity on his part; he caused harm and distress to the recipient" and "failed to treat a fellow professional with respect and dignity".

A spokesperson for Russell-Cooke told RollOnFriday, "Samuel Thorne left the firm in 2018. We were made aware of the incident in question in 2019, and promptly launched an investigation".

"We take any allegations of possible professional misconduct, whether inside or outside of the office, extremely seriously," the spokesperson said.

"Had the individual still been employed by the firm he would have been subject to our robust disciplinary process". And if he had mimed calling us tossers at that point, it would have definitely counted against him, they didn't add.



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Anonymous 03 February 23 09:10

What was the 'lewd gesture'?

Anonymous 03 February 23 09:12

Feels a bit disproportionate.

A vulgar thing to do no doubt, but naming and shaming in the press for it? Doesn't fit the crime.

Samuel Thorne 03 February 23 09:13

@09:10 - well I'm not paying again. 

Anonymous 03 February 23 09:14

Be strange not naming him, as they did so in the judgment. 

Not A Melt 03 February 23 09:26

If someone was offended by a hand gesture, I would hate to see how they would react to an expletive. Ridiculous 

Lord Lester 03 February 23 09:33

Samuel Thorne sounds like my sort of chap!

NonnyMe 03 February 23 09:41

This "lewd gesture". It was either so appalling that it simply cannot be described. Alternatively, it was so trivial that everyone involved is too embarrassed by the resulting palaver to say what actually happened. 

Anon 03 February 23 10:04

Can I get this right. I’m not allowed to signal my displeasure with other drivers because I’m a lawyer?

What if the person who cut me up was being a w**ker?

CounselCymraeg 03 February 23 11:06

Gestured in 2017. Left in 2018. Firm found out in 2019. SRA have only now rebuked and fined him. 

Assuming the SRA were made aware of this in 2019 too, it's fooking mental that it took them around 3 years to reach a decision on this, over 5 years from the incident happening. How can it have taken so long to investigate a gesture?

Anonymous 03 February 23 11:17

Does this mean that he got his d*** out or that he did something with his hands?

If this was hands, how much for a d***?  Or a b*****e?

I'd happily pay a couple of k to show my st**f***h to a few of my colleagues.

I'd pay 10 to drop trou at a partners meeting or the Xmas party.

[This comment was edited for content]

Anonymous 03 February 23 11:22

@9.33 - what do you mean 'sort of' chap - is he a chap or isn't he?

Wish I knew... 03 February 23 11:26

What on earth is going on with the regulation of the solicitors profession? The regulator really doesn't seem fit for purpose.

In recent years we have seen politicians excited about sending vulnrable people to a country that engaged in genocide in living memory; mocking those with disabilities; accusations of sexual assault or bullying; and members of the bar sending class a drugs in the post. 

Yet we tolerate the lowering of the burden of poof, the continual interference into personal matters like an office affair, the increased certificate fees & fining powers to pay for all this nonsense. And now we cannot even make, what in all likelihood was a common gesture, at a no doubt boozy do, without looking over our shoulder. I appreciate I don't have all the details of this case - so happy to be corrected but REALLY

I wonder what would happen if all solicitors were to refuse to pay practicing cert fees until we had   significant reforms in place??? The Bar would not stand for this silliness. 

Anon 03 February 23 11:41

@Anonymous 03 February 23 11:22 - u ok hun?

Anonymous 03 February 23 11:56

"I'd happily pay a couple of k to show my st**f***h to a few of my colleagues."

Your Stoat Fallujah? 

I mean, I don't know what one of those is, but a couple of large just to get it out sounds a bit rich.



Also, speaking personally, I'd want more than just the opportunity to wave it at them if I'd paid anyone a couple of G's to be in close proximity to my todger.

Or schlong.

If that is a more palatable word to the Words About Naughty Genitalia Police.



Or the WANG Unit, as they are coincidentally known by their colleagues.

Anonymous 03 February 23 12:00

"we have seen politicians excited about sending vulnrable people to a country that engaged in genocide in living memory"

... and not just politicians!

The nation at large is delighted at the thought that we might soon be sending thousands of criminals away from our shores, to be someone else's problem until such time as they give up and go back home.

Happiest of all are the actual vulnerable people who were the victims of these peoples crimes. Not that they get much press coverage or thought by wealthy progressives desperate to keep scumbags here at great expense... but they're principally working class so what did you expect.

Anonymous 03 February 23 14:59

@11.41 - the question is are you?

The other question is what do you mean 'sort of' chap - is he a chap or isn't he?

anon 03 February 23 15:14

@Anon 03 February 23 11:41 - the answer is most definitely "no".....

Anon 03 February 23 15:18

Anon 03 February 23 11:41: Question Man is not OK. Far from it. He is seriously mentally ill.

Exile on Main Street 03 February 23 17:02

This is absolutely pathetic. The SRA needs to wake up. Is this the kind of thing that it thinks people (woke, pious types aside) really care about?

What a complete waste of time and money and what appears to be a completely unnecessary naming and shaming of somebody.

papercuts 03 February 23 18:21

Never a great idea at the best of times, the way things have gone, these days, you'd have to be very naive indeed to be caught within a mile of your office party.  Stay at home and do some slack-lining instead, not as far to fall.  

The only way a bloke will survive a Christmas office party nowadays is to not drink (or drink very little); do not dance (can involve touching, or midriff thrusting movements which could easily be classified as “lewd”); remain seated at your table for a little while, making polite small talk with another bloke about work and the firm's new logo, before politely excusing yourself and legging it.

Anonymous 03 February 23 20:54

@15.14 - the answer to what?

@15.18 - far from what? what mental illness?

Percy Greengage - Freeman on the Land 03 February 23 23:06

Nice idea papercuts.  Clearly you don't quite grasp how partnerships work.  Are you even a lawyer?  Do you honestly think that you can disregard a firm's cultural and social events and still be taken seriously as a leader there?

I am in the process of building a specialist TV licence and parking fine firm and we drink cider by the canal every Friday night.  That's how I get to know my people.  Without it we'd be nothing.

Anonymous 03 February 23 23:25

He's just another victim of sexual harassment.

Anon 04 February 23 08:03

You only have to read Question Man’s comments at Anonymous 03 February 23 11:22, Anonymous 03 February 23 14:59, Anonymous 03 February 23 20:54 and Anonymous 03 February 23 23:25 to see how very unwell he is.

Anonymous 04 February 23 08:06

@Percy Green:

"Do you honestly think that you can disregard a firm's cultural and social events and still be taken seriously as a leader there?"


Anon 04 February 23 08:15

@Anon 03 February 23 15:18 - agreed. Likely to have borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

Anon 04 February 23 11:51

Thankfully, it won't be long until it will be unlawful for ROF to publish Question Man's comments, and we will be spared his pernicious nonsense:


Toby Greenlord 05 February 23 16:45


Anonymous Anonymous 06 February 23 12:49

Breaking rules does not give the legal profession a good name.

Analinous 06 February 23 20:31

Perhaps he painted his Willy green

Anonymous 07 February 23 19:32

@Samuel Thorne - paying for what?

Anonymous 07 February 23 19:58

@[email protected] - what comments at Anonymous 03 February 23 11:22, Anonymous 03 February 23 14:59, Anonymous 03 February 23 20:54 and Anonymous 03 February 23 23:25? What about them?

@[email protected] - agreed with what? Who is likely to have borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

@[email protected] - which law? Which comments? Which pernicious nonsense? What misogyny? What about misandry?

Anonymous 07 February 23 21:04


Anonymous 07 February 23 23:09

@Anonymous Anonymous- agreed, the SRA stating that someone made a lewd gesture without saying what it was is against the rules and does not give the legal profession a good name.

Percy Green 09 February 23 11:45

I know you Greenlord.

I know the council of druids removed the oak rede from your bottom after you let the Lord of Flowers take 6  months for accidentally watching the Babe Station.

You're finished sun.

anon 09 February 23 13:56

Anonymous 07 February 23 19:58: Question Man madder than ever.

Anon 09 February 23 15:01

Anonymous 07 February 23 23:09: what rules?

anon 09 February 23 15:03

Anonymous 08 February 23 06:54: what is the legal basis of that duty?

Anon 09 February 23 19:21

Anonymous 07 February 23 19:58 - Question Man really is insane.

Anonymous 10 February 23 01:05

We still don't know if the gesture was actually lewd or not.

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