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07 March 2018 at 14:05 BST

Russell McVeagh appoints external investigator amidst media storm

The law firm has responded to sexual harassment claims by appointing a high profile civil servant to investigate, amongst other issues, the firm's culture.


The law firm has brought on board a high profile civil servant to conduct an investigation into the law firm's culture following claims of sexual harassment. Malcolm Crotty, chair of Russell McVeagh, has announced that Dame Margaret Bazley will lead the review alongside a female lawyer. Dame Bazley has run a number of major inquiries including the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct in 2007. She was a member of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance and reviewed the Legal Aid system in 2009.

Truly independent

Pip Greenwood, a senior partner at Russell McVeagh said: 'We recognise that the incidents of sexual harassment that have occurred at our firm have had a profound effect on the women involved and we are all truly sorry and horrified that they occurred. We are committed to ensuring that such incidents do not happen again. We are extremely grateful to Dame Margaret for agreeing to conduct this review. We have been conscious, in making this appointment, to appoint a person who is truly independent as well as who has experience in such work.'

Thorough review

Malcolm Crotty, chair of Russell McVeagh said of the appointment: ;The women who have been subjected to any form of sexual harassment want to be assured that the review will be thorough. Our current staff and partners want that as well. We think that Dame Margaret’s significant review into police conduct and culture resulting from the Louise Nicholas case will provide that assurance.'

Conduct of review

The external review includes actions taken with respect to the incidents of 2015/2016 and any other incidents that may come to light during the conduct of the review, culture in both offices, current management practices and policies relating to the prevention of sexual harassment, and supporting complainants, the firm said in a statement.


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