The head of Latham & Watkins has stepped down after admitting to sexual conduct 'not befitting the leader of the firm.' The highly respected Bill Voge made a voluntary disclosure to the executive team. The firm's official statement said that his conduct 'involved the exchange of communications of a sexual nature with a woman whom he has never met in person and who had no connection to the firm. Mr Voge’s conduct did not involve the firm, any of its clients, or its personnel. Mr Voge engaged in subsequent conduct relating to this matter that, while not unlawful, the executive committee concluded was not befitting the leader of the firm.’
Lapse of judgement
In a personal statement, Mr Voge, said: 'It is with great sorrow that I step down as chair and managing partner of Latham & Watkins. I made a personal mistake for which I bear considerable fault and humiliation. I deeply regret my lapse of judgement and I am sorry for the distress and embarrassment I have caused my family, friends, and colleagues.My conduct falls well below the personal and professional standards I have tried to uphold throughout my entire career. My disappointment in myself is all the more acute because this lapse does not represent who I am and what I believe, and because I have let down our firm and its people, all of whom I so deeply cherish and respect.'
The Lathams leadership accepted his resignation with the view that the 'lapses in personal judgement' made Voge’s service as chair untenable. Vice-chairs Ora Fisher and Richard Trobman are to temporarily replace him as co-chairs of the firm until a replacement is found. The firm said that 'in light of the personal and privacy interests involved', it would not comment further on the matter.