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Latham & Watkin’s Chairman Resigns When Sex Harassment Allegations Come to Light

One of the highest-grossing law firms in the country, Latham & Watkins, demonstrates that the sexual misconduct reckoning continues. William Voge has been the London-based Global Chairman of the firm since 2014. It had been the first change in leadership in 20 years.

According to the firm’s statement, Mr. Voge resigned after disclosing that he had exchanged emails and texts with a woman that were of a sexual nature. The woman was not an employee of Latham and Mr. Voge has stated that he never met the woman. He reportedly approached her through the New Canaan Society and offered to help her engage in “Christian reconciliation” with a group member. Apparently, Mr. Voge was a New Canaan board member, which exists as a support group for men. Texts of a sexual nature were exchanged between Mr. Voge and this woman but she objected when he wanted to meet her in his hotel room. She complained to Latham’s partners and to Mr. Voge’s family with copies of the sexual texts. Mr. Voge’s attorney accused the woman of engaging in a smear campaign and cyber harassment. Apparently, Mr. Voge also sent texts to the woman’s husband and threatened the woman with jail for her texts and emails: “It is not threats about jail. She will be in jail.”

Latham and Watkins did not label the behavior unlawful but stated that it was not befitting the leader of the firm and that it was untenable for him to continue in his role as Global Chairman. Interestingly, Mr. Voge wrote a piece for the Huffington Post just last year about his strong desire for and the importance of creating an inclusive and diverse working environment at Latham & Watkins.