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NZ Law Firm DLA Piper Drawn Into #Metoo Firestorm With Partner Departure

sexual assault in law firms

DLA Piper has been in the sexual harassment firing line with a report that a partner has left the Wellington practice following a complaint over “behavioural issues.”

Wellington employment lawyer Barbara Buckett said her Wellington firm currently had about six cases her firm was handling involving lawyers and with what reported as having a “sexual component”, which ranged from inappropriate behaviour to sexual discrimination.

LawFuel also believes there is at least one other Wellington employment law firm that is also handling similar complaints involving law firms.


A source familiar with the DLA Piper New Zealand case said the partner had been under orders not to go to work functions unsupervised before a party around Christmas last year. It is understood he went to that party, where an incident happened, after which he left the firm.

DLA Piper’s Martin Wiseman

DLA Piper New Zealand country managing partner Martin Wiseman would not discuss specifics of the case, but confirmed two “behavioural incidents” happened during 2017 and were reported to the Law Society.

DLA Piper reported the second incident to the NZ Law Society, according to the report, unlike Russell McVeagh’s situation which saw the firm heavily criticised for failing to report incidents there to the Law Society.

The staff member involved in the incident had previously reported the incidents to the firm’s HR department.

The two incidents involving the partner are currently being investigated by the Law Society’s standards committee.

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