An ex-Clyde & Co lawyer has been “rebuked” by the solicitors’ watchdog for putting his arm around a female trainee solicitor at a strip club.
The former personal injury lawyer, who was fired from the City law firm in 2018, was also told to pay £600 to the solicitors’ watchdog to cover the costs of its investigation.
The ruling comes after SRA said that in 2017, ex-Clyde & Co partner Peter Walmsley took a group of clients and colleagues to a strip club, after having gone to a number of bars following a trip to the Christmas markets.
The watchdog said that neither Walmsley nor his younger female colleague had realised the nature of the late-night establishment prior to entry.
However, the female trainee “immediately” felt uncomfortable on entering the late-night bar, which was “staffed by women wearing underwear,” the SRA said.
The SRA said the trainee solicitor felt “obliged” to stay at the club, as she feared that leaving may embarrass the clients.
Later in the night, whilst the party was sat in a booth, Walmsley then “placed his hands around [the female solicitor’s] waist,” in an “unwanted” act that compounded his female colleague’s discomfort.
The woman felt unable to challenge Walmsley due to his seniority in the firm, but later moved away from the partner due to feelings of discomfort.
Yet on coming back to booth, Walmsley again “put his arm around her waist.” The trainee left the club shortly after.
Clyde & Co have been approached for comment.