Dentons ousts partner after investigation into claims of inappropriate behaviour

The Dentons partner who was suspended last month following allegations of inappropriate behaviour has left the firm.

Dentons launched an internal investigation in January, after learning of allegations made against the male partner while he was at Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, which merged with Dentons in July last year.

A Dentons spokesperson said that while the investigation “found no evidence of sexual harassment”, it did find that the “behaviour of the partner concerned fell well below the expectations that we have of our partners”.

The partner was placed on a leave of absence throughout the investigation, with the firm saying that he would not return to the office while the investigation was carried out.

The spokesperson added: “Last month we became aware that reports of inappropriate behaviour were made against a Maclay Murray & Spens (MMS) partner about 15 months ago, more than a year before MMS’s merger with Dentons. Immediately upon becoming aware of these reports, we launched an internal investigation and placed the partner on a leave of absence [...] We can confirm that he has now left the firm.”

Legal Week understands that the employee that raised the complaint against the partner is still with the firm.

Earlier this week, Legal Week revealed that a Baker McKenzie partner at the centre of a sexual assault scandal is set to leave the firm. Bakers is facing scrutiny from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) over its handling of the alleged incident.

The partner is under investigation for allegedly assaulting a female associate, who received a payout from Bakers and entered into a confidentiality agreement before leaving. The firm has issued a public apology and admitted it should have done better in its handling of the episode.

Last year, Legal Week research found that nearly two thirds of female lawyers have experienced some form of sexual harassment while working at a law firm, with more than half experiencing it on more than one occasion. A number of female lawyers also spoke anonymously to Legal Week about their experiences of sexual harassment in the profession, following the research.