A Scottish solicitor who groped a colleague while working in the City at Dentons has had controls placed on his future employment in the sector.
The order under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974 means that he cannot work in the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) regulated community without its permission.
Gordon Herd qualified in Scotland in 2016 and was an associate in the corporate department of Dentons from 2018.
According to a notice published by the SRA yesterday, in September 2021 Mr Herd attended a work social event with colleagues at a bar in London.
“During the event Mr Herd touched a female colleague in a sexual manner without her consent. He placed his leg between her legs while rubbing her thighs, he rubbed her back and bottom and stood so close to her that she felt uncomfortable.
“Following an investigation, the firm upheld Mr Herd’s colleague’s grievance and arranged for a disciplinary meeting. However, Mr Herd resigned from the firm before the disciplinary meeting took place.”
The regulator said this conduct – “which made his colleague feel vulnerable, uncomfortable and distressed” – meant it was “undesirable for him to be involved in a legal practice without the SRA’s prior approval”.
Mr Herd was also ordered to pay the SRA’s costs of £600.
Section 43 orders are imposed by the SRA in response to conduct by those who are not solicitors of England and Wales.