Trowers begins investigation after senior associate is cleared of groping allegations

A Trowers & Hamlins senior associate has been found not guilty after facing charges of sexually assaulting an off-duty police officer.

Simon Bryning, a commercial property lawyer based in the firm’s London office, was accused of groping the woman on a train from Euston to Milton Keynes in January 2017, but was cleared after pleading not guilty to the charges.

A Trowers spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Simon Bryning was found not guilty of all allegations made against him. We are following our processes and an internal investigation into the matters surrounding the allegations is underway. We are unable to comment further, as it is not our policy to comment on individual employment matters.”

According to the MailOnline, the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – alleged that as the train departed, he moved to sit in the seats in front of her. She claimed he reached through the gap between two seats and put his hand on her thigh and “moved it upwards”.

The MailOnline reported that she sent a text to her partner which said: “Creep moved to stare at me. Reaching hands back. Just getting ready to break his fingers if he touches me.”

Prosecutor Peter Grice said that Bryning was “very heavily intoxicated” at the time of the incident. He was taken to Aylesbury police station after alighting the train.

Bryning joined Trowers as a trainee in 2008, becoming a senior associate in 2010. He specialises in institutional investment and development.

The issue of sexual harassment in law has been thrown into the spotlight in recent months, with Baker McKenzie facing scrutiny from the Solicitors Regulation Authority over a historic incident which saw a senior male partner allegedly assault a female associate. The partner in question has now left the firm, with Bakers bringing in Simmons & Simmons to lead a review of its response to the incident.

Elsewhere, Dentons recently ousted a partner – who joined the firm as part of its merger with Scots firm Maclay Murray & Spens – after an internal investigation found that his behaviour had falled ”well below” the firm’s expectations.