A Dentons partner who was suspended last month following allegations of inappropriate behavior has left the firm.
The global legal giant launched an internal investigation in January after learning of allegations made against the male partner while he was at Scottish legacy firm Maclay Murray & Spens, which was absorbed by Dentons last summer.
A Dentons representative confirmed that while its investigation “found no evidence of sexual harassment,” it did find that the “behavior of the partner concerned fell well below the expectations that we have of our partners.”
The partner was placed on a leave of absence throughout the investigation, with the firm saying that he would not return to the office while the investigation was carried out.
“Last month we became aware that reports of inappropriate behavior were made against a Maclay Murray & Spens (MMS) partner about 15 months ago, more than a year before MMS’ merger with Dentons,” the firm said in a statement. “Immediately upon becoming aware of these reports, we launched an internal investigation and placed the partner on a leave of absence [...] We can confirm that he has now left the firm.”
The individual that raised the complaint against the Dentons partner is still employed by the firm, unlike a similar situation at rival legal giant Baker McKenzie, which has recently come under scrutiny for the alleged actions of a partner in the U.K. accused of being at the center of a sexual assault scandal.
That partner, who has not been identified, is now poised to leave Baker McKenzie, which is facing a review from the U.K.’s Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) over its handling of the alleged incident.
The Baker McKenzie partner is under investigation for allegedly assaulting a female associate, who received a payout from the firm and entered into a confidentiality agreement before leaving. Baker McKenzie has issued a public apology and admitted it should have done better in its handling of the episode.
Last year, Legal Week research found that nearly two-thirds of female lawyers in the U.K. have experienced some form of sexual harassment while working at a law firm, with more than half experiencing it on more than one occasion. Following that report, a number of female lawyers also spoke anonymously to Legal Week about their experiences of sexual harassment in the legal profession.