A lawyer accused of inappropriately touching multiple former summer interns has offered his "unreserved" apologies to the women.
However, he stopped short of any admission that the alleged inappropriate dance floor touching at a staff Christmas party was deliberate.
It's the third day of a disciplinary hearing in Wellington for a former Russell McVeagh partner, who is accused of inappropriate conduct toward five clerks in 2015.
Although the man, who has interim name suppression, said he had no intention of "creeping" he said it was "devastating" to learn how his actions affected the clerks.
He's facing several charges of misconduct or unsatisfactory conduct laid by the New Zealand Law Society national standards committee.
The committee alleges that the lawyer abused his power as partner of a law firm due to the inherent power difference between a partner and an aspiring lawyer.
Earlier the court heard from a former lawyer at Russell McVeagh who said supporting the interns who accused the firm partner of sexual misconduct felt like a "full-time job".
She told the hearing even after complaints had been escalated he remained working and the women were "petrified" of running into him and "traumatised".
The woman said she was told by various people in the firm that she was a "troublemaker" and that she was making a "mountain out of a molehill".
"Gaslighting is probably the best way to describe it."
Another woman said she left the law profession after her experience in the man's team and said many of her fears and insecurities have been "reborn" because of the latest investigation.
She said she felt "lucky" because "no one laid a finger" on her during her time at the company, however she said when she did bring up cultural issues with HR she claimed that she was made to feel like she was the issue.
According to the witness, notes written of her experience by HR portray her as "broken, hysterical and angry".
The court has also heard from multiple former clerks, one of which said she had been in counselling for "years", had to take tranquilisers and quit a job following an alleged assault by a former partner at the Christmas party.
Five of the charges relate to multiple accounts of alleged sexual assault of staffers at a Christmas party in 2015.
Another charge relates to an informal event at the man's home where he is accused of inappropriately kissing and touching a clerk in a sauna.
Another woman, who spoke yesterday, said she felt like a piece of meat and "engulfed" by him when, she claims, he touched her bottom and kissed part of her face.
Other women also said he touched them inappropriately, including one woman who accused him of allegedly touching a wine stain on her breast while waiting for a taxi and asking whether she was coming home with him.
The man told the hearing that he did not recall asking anyone to come home with him, and his wife was a light sleeper and their room was near the front door.
While he denied trying to kiss anyone or purposefully groping anyone's breasts, or bum, he apologised for not being a "responsible" adult.
He told the hearing the women had nothing to fear from him and he's ready to accept the consequences.
"I have let down myself, and my firm and my wife."
He resigned in early 2016.
Some details of the allegations from 2015, which were first reported by media in early 2018, were included in a decision reissued by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal in March this year.
In July 2018, Dame Margaret Bazley released an independent review into Russell McVeagh and made several recommendations for the law firm after allegations surfaced of clerks being sexually harassed over the summer of 2015-16.
She found junior lawyers and staff were encouraged to "drink to excess" during that period, in a "work hard, play hard" culture which had instances of crude and sexually inappropriate behaviour.
The man's testimony will continue tomorrow.