UBS Hires Law Firm to Review its Handling of Rape Allegation

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG hired global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP to review how the bank handled a complaint from a young female trainee who alleged that a senior male colleague raped her.

The Swiss lender has said it’s planning to review how the bank handles cases of harassment after the alleged incident. The alleged perpetrator resigned from the investment bank in March, five months after he was suspended, people with knowledge of the situation said last month. UBS had not started a formal disciplinary procedure into the individual’s behavior by the time he left the Swiss lender, the people said. The female employee left the firm this year.

“The bank’s internal expert team will conduct this review,” UBS said in an emailed statement Wednesday. Additionally, Freshfields will provide an “independent assessment from an outside party and draw from broader industry insights,” it added. An official for Freshfields declined to comment.

There is intense public interest in how companies handle allegations of sexual harassment after a string of women accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of assault last year. Since then, a number of high-profile individuals have been accused of misconduct across a range of industries, giving birth to the global #MeToo movement.

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