Global legal outfit Clifford Chance fires partner amid misconduct claims

Simone Grogan
The Nightly
Clifford Chance has offices in Perth and Sydney.
Clifford Chance has offices in Perth and Sydney. Credit: unknown/supplied

Top-tier law firm Clifford Chance has fired a partner following an investigation into “serious misconduct”, triggering a review from Elizabeth Broderick & Co into the group’s Australian operations.

A spokesman for the global legal firm said on Monday it had immediately suspended the partner in question upon receiving the complaints, and that they were terminated after an internal investigation.

“Clifford Chance confirms the departure of a partner in our Perth team following an investigation into allegations of serious misconduct,” the spokesman said.

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“Upon receiving complaints of serious misconduct, the firm immediately suspended the partner and launched an internal investigation.

“That investigation has now concluded and has resulted in the partner’s termination from the firm.”

Clifford Chance has more than 30 offices across Europe, Asia and the US and is considered part of the so-called ‘magic circle’, a term given to the world’s top five legal outfits.

It’s understood the partner left the business in June.

Revelations at Clifford Chance come after a spokeswoman confirmed to The West Australian last week that former Sex Discrimination commissioner and workplace consultant Elizabeth Broderick & Co had been called in to review the culture of the global legal firm’s Australian operations.

Speaking on behalf of the legal giant, Clifford Chance’s global managing partner Charles Adams said the firm ‘deeply’ regrets what happened and thanked colleagues for speaking up.

“We deeply regret what happened and that our colleagues were affected,” he said.

“We’ve offered and continue to make available our full support to these colleagues. I want to thank them for speaking up and to reassure everyone at the firm of our commitment to a workplace where they are respected, and where misconduct of any kind is completely unacceptable, and will be robustly addressed.”

Clifford Chance’s Asia Pacific managing partner Connie Heng said: “We recognise the gravity of the situation and are fully committed to learning from this experience and promoting a working environment where everyone is safe and respected, and where misconduct of any kind is called out.

“We have engaged the specialist consultancy firm Elizabeth Broderick & Co, which provides high-level strategic analysis, assessment, advice, and planning to organisations wishing to strengthen their workplace culture.”

The firm employs more than 110 partners and lawyers across Australia.

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