Law firm Russell McVeagh's Board and Partners have announced the firm will undergo an external review, focusing on it's culture and policies relating to sexual harassment.
The announcement follows media coverage relating to allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour towards female students by two former male staff members during a summer law clerk programme at Russell McVeagh.
The firm says it has reflected on the events and that what happened in the summer of 2015/16 was completely unacceptable.
Russell McVeagh says the Board is in the process of finalising the appointment of a suitably qualified person, outside the legal community, to undertake an external review of both Russell McVeagh in relation to the incidents of sexual harassment in 2015/16.
It says the review will be led by a senior, independent and well regarded leader with recognised skills in culture, diversity, and inclusion.
The scope of the review will include:
- All actions taken with respect to the specific incidents
- Current management practices and policies in relation to preventing sexual harassment and supporting those who wish to make complaints
- The organisational culture of the firm
Russell McVeagh says the final review recommendations will be shared with all parties it has professional obligations to, including the women (who made the allegations), staff, clients, and the New Zealand Law Society.