Ince Gordon Dadds has launched an internal investigation after members of its management team were accused of mistreating a restaurant employee in Cardiff.
The owner of Cora restaurant, Lee Skeet, tweeted an image of an email which The Telegraph reports was addressed to Ince’s head of finance and administration, John Biles, in which he accuses Biles’ management staff of abusing one of his employees—a 22 year-old front of house—claiming that she was “talked down to, disrespected, and touched unwantedly by members of [the] group”.
The tweet currently has more than 130,000 likes.
Biles was present at the meal, a person with knowledge of the matter said, adding that Ince’s management team was attending a two-day meeting.
A spokesperson for Ince added in a statement: “The company has been made aware of allegations in the media in relation to senior staff attending a dinner on Wednesday evening. The Independent Directors have therefore initiated a formal investigation. Whilst it is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
According to Skeet’s tweet, the team’s bill stood at £1,000. Skeet added that the party left no tip. After initially stating he would refund the entire bill minus £100 to Ince, Skeet later tweeted that he has now decided to give the £1,000 to the employee in question.
Skeet has banned the senior lawyers from the restaurant permanently, and suggested to Biles in his letter that he “should assess the people you surround yourself with”.
As part of the management discussions, Biles had announced that he is to retire in the coming months. A spokesperson said the retirement is not connected to the current allegations.
The conduct of corporate lawyers is an ongoing theme in the industry, with firms facing increased scrutiny following several high profile investigations.
In March a Hogan Lovells associate left the firm following an internal investigation into serious misconduct, while last month Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer found no evidence of misconduct in an investigation into a German Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe partner.