will be receving an unwelcome holiday delivery tomorrow – a $50 million discrimination suit brought by an ex-associate who claims she did not make partner because she is a lesbian.
The complaint also claims the firm did nothing to stop partners from harassing the plaintiff, Julie Kamps.
Partners Janice Mac Avoy, William McGuinness, David Hennes and managing partner Justin Spendlove are also named as defendants, along with 100 John Doe defendants.
Kamps was a litigation associate from 1998 until January 2009, when she was fired in the middle of an arbitration.
Am Law Daily’s Zach Lowe reviewed a copy of the complaint, which he reported will be filed tomorrow. The full report is here, but below are the highlights, which include a lot of allegations we doubt Fried Frank will enjoy seeing in print:
- Kamps claims the firm instructs lawyers to write exaggerated negative reviews of associates it wants to leave the firm;
- She states that partner Janice Mac Avoy “knowingly made unwelcome sexual advances and sexual comments to Kamps, both alone and in the presence of others.” The complaint also says that Mac Avoy “told Kamps it was ‘the biggest regret of her life’ that she had not slept with Kamps ‘when she had the chance.'”
- Kamps alleges that she was told to wear women’s clothing, rather than the men’s shirts she prefers shirts, because her shirts could make clients uncomfortable.
- She states the firm’s mistreatment of her became worse after she complained in 2007 about not being promoted.
- In addition to the $50 million, she’s asking to be reinstated as a partner.
- Kamps is representing herself in the suit.
Fried Frank did not immediately provide a comment to Am Law; we’ve also reached out to them and will update if and when we hear back.
A complaint involving a firm attorneys harassing an associate for being gay brings to mind the suit brought by Aaron Charney against Sullivan & Cromwell in 2007 and settled later that year. Charney later purchased a $1.495 million condo and returned to big law; he is now an associate at Clifford Chance.
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