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30 June 2023 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

Solicitor struck off the Roll for sexual misconduct

In this episode, the team discusses various cases of sexual misconduct, following the recent news of a ex-director of Gowling Law Firm being struck off the Roll of Solicitors for sexual harassment in the workplace.

Solicitor struck off the Roll for sexual misconduct Solicitor struck off the Roll for sexual misconduct Solicitor struck off the Roll for sexual misconduct

This is the first time a solicitor has been struck off the Roll for non-criminal sexual misconduct in the workplace, following 70 allegations being made against him. The full reasons for the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal’s decision will be published in a written ruling later this summer. Victims felt controlled and manipulated due to perpetrator’s seniority and him taking advantage of this.

What counts as sexual harassment at work?

  • Unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature.
  • It must have either violated someone’s dignity, whether it was intended or not, or created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them, whether it was intended or not.
  • It can be a one-off act or a pattern of behaviour, but it doesn’t have to be repeated.


The Law

If you are an independent contractor or an employee, then you are protected under the Equality Act 2010 from being sexually harassed in the workplace. This applies whether you are male or female.

It is unlawful for you to be subjected in the workplace to conduct which is sexual in nature and has the purpose or effect of, for example, violating your dignity in the workplace.

We encourage anyone who has concerns about sexual abuse to get in touch. You can contact Alan Collins at [email protected] or Danielle Vincent at [email protected].

Author bio

Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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