Fears report into Russell McVeagh law firm that found 'sexually inappropriate behaviour' just the tip of the iceberg for legal profession

There are fears that the scathing report which found law firm Russell McVeagh had a culture involving "excessive drinking" at times involving "crude, drunken and sexually inappropriate behaviour" is just the tip of the iceberg. 

The report has prompted questions over other legal firms and entire industries here in New Zealand.

Former lawyer Olivia Wensley quit her job because she was sexually harassed.

"I've experienced a wide range of sexual harassment through my career. It starts from a low end basically, inappropriate jokes, sexism and it goes all the way through to inappropriate physical behaviour and propositions," Ms Wensley told 1 NEWS.

Russell McVeagh's reckoning today, was also overdue for Steph Dyhrberg from the Wellington Women's Lawyer Association.

It found a culture involving “excessive drinking” and at times “sexually inappropriate behaviour”. Source: 1 NEWS

"The culture Dame Margaret describes [in her report] is one that is very similar to what I experienced when I was there 20 years ago," Ms Dyhrberg said.

The law society - which is now re-evaluating its processes - admits it knows of historic allegations in other firms.

New Zealand law schools - which had cut ties with Russell McVeagh - will meet with representatives from the firm next month to discuss the future relationship.

It’s now put the spotlight on the whole legal profession and other industries. Source: 1 NEWS