Hogan Lovells has suspended a partner in its London office for watching an adult video at work, with the firm reviewing its internet access policy as a result.
The partner was seen by an Irwin Mitchell lawyer across the street in that firm’s London office, which is next door to Hogan Lovells’ Atlantic House base.
The Irwin Mitchell lawyer filmed the partner’s behavior on their mobile phone, according to RollonFriday, and reported the incident to Hogan Lovells’ human resources team.
The partner in question has now been suspended and the firm has begun an internal investigation into the episode.
“We were made aware of an individual in our office misusing their computer to watch adult material,” a Hogan Lovells spokesperson said. “Such behavior is unacceptable and we have suspended them pending a full internal investigation.”
As a result of the incident, Hogan Lovells has also “reviewed and tightened” its policy on which websites can be accessed at work.
“We didn’t block access to websites unless they represented a cybersecurity risk (e.g. they have malware on them),” the spokesperson said. “The nature of our work for clients sometimes means we need to carry out investigations in areas which require us to have flexible access. We have reviewed and tightened this policy.”
The conduct of partners has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as firms look to move away from male-dominated cultures of years gone by. However, instances of partners at major firms being suspended for internet misuse are rare.
One legal recruiter said, ”In today’s climate where partner behavior is under a close microscope, this type of thing cannot be tolerated. We would expect Hogan Lovells to view this quite harshly.”
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