Top lawyer handed £55,000 fine for trying to kiss junior colleague and influence subsequent investigation
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has published a judgment giving its reasons for fining ex-Baker McKenzie London boss Gary Senior £55,000 over a drunken attempt to kiss a junior colleague back in 2012.
Senior, who at the time was London managing partner for the global giant, was found to have committed serious professional misconduct when the SDT made its decision in June. The tribunal has now published a lengthy written ruling explaining that decision.
The judgment calls Senior’s conduct on the night in question “an extraordinary abuse of position”. The SDT noted the “unequal balance of authority” between the “very senior” Senior and the “junior fee-earner in his hotel room”.
The SDT also found that Senior had improperly tried to influence the internal Baker McKenzie investigation into the incident. It quotes extensively from emails he sent to the partner in charge of the investigation and to the head of HR.
In one email, Senior wrote:
“This feels to me like someone after a big payoff, perhaps someone who had doubts whether the City was right for them. A payoff is not great as apart from the expense for me — I would imagine she could claim an awful lot– real danger for the firm of this all coming out”.
The SDT was also critical of Senior’s evidence before it, saying that he had “sought to minimise his involvement and on occasion he had been evasive”.
Read the judgment in full: