Legal profession must tackle bullying and harassment head on

The legal profession must tackle bullying and harassment in the sector head on, the Law Society of England and Wales reiterated today, following a report by the International Bar Association (IBA) on the high reported incidence in the global profession.

“We will not tolerate sexual harassment or bullying in the legal sector,” Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said.

“Just as anyone is protected by the law, they should also be protected by employers – law firms included – which have a duty of care to their employees, contractors, clients and visitors.

“Working environments should be safe for all, with clear policies to prevent harassment as well as accessible, safe procedures to deal with any complaints.

“Anyone who has experienced sexual harassment should be able to feel they can report it safely and with the confidence they will be taken seriously.

“Solicitors have professional and ethical obligations that mean anyone found guilty of harassment is likely to face disciplinary action by the regulator as well as any civil or criminal proceedings.

“A Women in Law Pledge – the result of widespread collaboration across the legal profession – will launch next month. It commits signatories to tackle sex discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment wherever it occurs in the workplace.

“It is incumbent on all of us to work to end bullying and harassment of any kind.”

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