An Auckland university has ditched a planned presentation by law firm Russell McVeagh to its students as investigations continue into sexual allegations involving past student interns at the company.
The Auckland University of Technology's law school has told its students it has cancelled the March 6 event because of ongoing investigations involving allegations students took part in sexual acts with male employees.
A spokeswoman for the university confirmed to the Herald that the school had withdrawn from the presentation "because of the allegations'.
AUT's dean of law, Professor Charles Rickett, emailed all law students to tell them about the cancellation and the reason behind it.
"We have done this because of ongoing investigations into improper conduct by employees of the firm and concerns in relation to the working environment and culture of Russell McVeagh."
He said the law school was looking at how it will help students in future move from university to work.
He said the school wanted to help students meet a diverse range of potential legal employers - but ones it was confident would provide a supportive working environment.
The university's move to drop the law firm comes days after one of its law lecturers, Khylee Quince, went public with claims a female student approached her when she was working at Auckland University's law school more than 10 years ago.
The student was upset after a seminar she and others had attended, when solicitors from Russell McVeagh and students drank the bar firm's bar dry.
"Things got out of control - culminating in a number of staff having sex on the boardroom table with several students, in front of other students.''
Quince's comments followed revelations that at least two male staff members had left the law firm after allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour towards young female clerk students in Wellington about two years ago.
Russell McVeagh acknowledged the allegations, which now go back about 20 years, in a statement.
"Over the past 20 years there have been a limited number of allegations of poor behaviour involving consensual sexual events including on our premises.
"When allegations of any sort have been made we have taken action. If proven, we have taken action appropriate to the severity of the misconduct.
"In some cases, this has resulted in termination of employment or a partner departing, regardless of their seniority."
Russell McVeagh said there would no doubt be rumours about other "supposed events'' but reiterated that it had a culture of zero tolerance of any sexual harassment.
As a result, there would be an external review of the events of 2015/16.