Monday 8 April 2019 4:28 pm

Freshfields to be investigated by legal regulator over review into UBS rape allegations

Magic Circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is being investigated by the legal regulator over its review into rape allegations at UBS.

The City law firm was called in to conduct an independent review after a former trainee graduate alleged she was raped by a colleague nearly 20 years her senior.

Read more: Former graduate trainee takes UBS to court over handling of rape allegation

In November the review concluded that the bank made no fundamental errors in handling the allegations but UBS refused to disclose anything more than an executive summary.

The former UBS employee’s legal team has disputed this and now the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has opened a file on Freshfields.

The claimant, known as Ms A, said she received personal assurances from Andrea Orcel – then head of UBS’s investment bank – that Freshfields were not UBS’s lawyers no were they acting in a legal capacity.

Ms A said she then disclosed sensitive audio recordings, documents and emails to help the investigation and was subsequently “shocked” that legal privilege was used as a reason to refuse disclosure of the report.

The former trainee has also filed a lawsuit against the Swiss bank for sexual harassment and victimisation.

Read more: UBS fined £27.6m by City watchdog for transaction reporting failures

She claims she was subjected to a “gross violation of privacy” after reporting the alleged rape in September 2017, as the bank monitored her social media accounts and “coerced” her graduate friends into disclosing hundreds of her messages.

Ms A, who resigned last year, also claims she was forced to sit just three rows away from her alleged rapist for a number of weeks after reporting the incident and that the bank monitored her movements in and out of the building