A review of alleged sexual harassment at law firm Russell McVeagh will be released to the public this morning.

Dame Margaret Bazley was appointed to lead the external review, looking at incidents which occurred through 2015/16.

Alleged incidents include male employees taking part in sexual acts with female intern students who were part of the summer law-clerk programme. There were accusations of a culture of inappropriate sexual behaviour at the firm.

Media have been invited to Russell McVeagh's Wellington headquarters, where the results will be released at 10am this morning.


Russell McVeagh has clarified that staff will be formally briefed on the results before the press conference, with a further face-to-face meeting after the press briefing.

The law firm pledged at the outset to give Bazley full access to any material she needed, as well as any staff who wished to participate.

The review will cover sexual harassment claims over the summer of 2015/16, the firm's responses to those claims, as well as any other claims of improper conduct.

Bazley was asked to consider the overall culture of the firm, as well as the firm's standards, systems, and policies for the management of staff.

Former staff and summer clerks were invited to take part.

When the review was announced in March this year, Russell McVeagh chairman Malcolm Crotty said the women who had been subjected to any form of sexual harassment would want to be assured that the review would be thorough.

Russell McVeagh senior partner Pip Greenwood said they were grateful to Dame Margaret for agreeing to conduct the review.

"We recognise that the incidents of sexual harassment that have occurred at our firm have had a profound effect on the women involved and we are all truly sorry and horrified that they occurred."


At least two staff members from Russell McVeagh left after allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour towards young, female law-clerk students.

Bazley previously headed the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct in 2007, was a member of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, and reviewed the Legal Aid system in 2009.

She also reviewed the Wellington Rugby Football Union process and protocols for player recruitment, and the management and monitoring of player behaviour, in 2016.

All six of New Zealand's law schools have cut ties with Russell McVeagh after accusations that a culture of sexual harassment was rife within the firm.

In the wake of allegations against the law firm being made public, up to 17 formal complaints of a sexual nature were lodged with the Law Society.

Law Society president Kathryn Beck told Newsroom the 17 allegations had been lodged, with at least one believed to be from a former summer intern.

A spokesman told the Herald they could not give out information relating to a particular complaint or say whether or not they had received any.

"The legislation sets certain parameters and we're obliged to work within that," he said.

"That related specifically to confirming whether or not particular complaints have been received."