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Independent Review of Russell McVeagh

Dame Margaret Bazley released her Independent Review of Russell McVeagh. Russell McVeagh commissioned Dame Margaret Bazley to conduct an external, independent review following allegations of sexual harassment by five summer clerks employed at Russell McVeagh’s Wellington office during the summer of 2015–2016. The Report makes a number of recommendations in regards to, amongst other things, sexual harassment, bullying in the workplace, and overall management practices.

The New Zealand Law Society has commented that Dame Margaret Bazley’s Report highlights the need for cultural reform across New Zealand’s legal profession.

New Zealand Law Society – Workplace Environment Survey

The New Zealand Law Society commissioned Colmar Brunton to assess the current workplace environment for legal practice in New Zealand. The Workplace Environment Survey focused particularly on bullying and sexual harassment. Key insights and conclusions include:

  • 60% of lawyers find their job very stressful and 44% feel they work under unrealistic time pressures.
  • Aspects of Asian and Maori lawyers’ workplace wellbeing are less favourable and may warrant further exploration.
  • 18% of lawyers (31% of women and 5% of men) have been sexually harassed (on the basis of the Human Rights Commission definition) during their working life to date.
  • 52% of lawyers have experienced bullying (on the basis of Employment New Zealand’s definition).

Standards committee takes no further action after criticism of judge

A standards committee decided to take no further action against a lawyer who criticised a District Court Judge’s decision to discharge a man without conviction in a domestic violence case.

New Zealand Law Society “Lawyers Complaints Services – Standards committee take no further action after criticism of judge” LawTalk (New Zealand, July 2018) at 54. Read here:

By Natalie Koch