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The Canadian Bar Association

Caitlin Urquhart

Opinion

What will MeToo cost you?

By Caitlin Urquhart June 18, 2018 18 June 2018

What will MeToo cost you?

 

Gender-based harassment is rarely about sex. It’s almost always about power. As a result, it should come as no surprise that law firms are not immune to the global reckoning that began last October. This year, for example, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP included sexual harassment on its list of the top legal risks for businesses. Law firms are businesses too, and can suffer from some of the same issues with power dynamics.

Actions from the distant past are being judged and measured against today’s yardstick. Women coming forward are believed and honoured for outing inappropriate behaviours. The tides have turned. This is a global phenomenon.

While stories of dethroned lawyers have not yet made headlines, everything from frantic whispers to ousters are happening at partnership tables. Those with skeletons in their closets are panicking as they realize that others now see them as immense liabilities. No doubt they are calculating their options.

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