Mayer Brown has terminated Chicago-based banking and finance partner Zac Barnett due to “inappropriate personal conduct with a subordinate,” the firm said in a statement on Friday.
Barnett’s conduct was unrelated to client matters and “is contrary to the firm’s core values,” the statement said, adding that no further details would be provided to respect the privacy of a third party.
Barnett’s termination marks the second Big Law partner to be publicly ousted by his firm this month related to inappropriate conduct. Pascal Agboyibor, the Paris-based head of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Africa practice and a member of its board, was asked to leave the firm following an investigation that found evidence of inappropriate conduct and lapses in judgment, The American Lawyer reported.
Barnett is also the second partner in about a year to leave Mayer Brown under controversial circumstances that became public. Last March, capital markets partner James Tanenbaum resigned from the firm following allegations that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct at his former firm, Morrison & Foerster. Tanenbaum has denied the allegations.
At Mayer Brown, Barnett had risen by 2015 to be named leader of the firm’s global fund finance, a practice that at the time of his promotion put him in charge of six partners and 17 associates and counsel. In that practice, Barnett represented lenders and borrowers in real estate, private equity, debt, energy, infrastructure and hedge fund financings, according to a firm statement announcing his promotion at the time.
Above the Law first reported Barnett’s termination, citing an email chairman Paul Theiss sent to the firm’s lawyers on Thursday night that largely mimicked the firm’s statement on Friday.
A message sent to Barnett’s LinkedIn profile was not immediately returned on Friday.