Bullying and Harassment in the legal profession


Bullying and Harassment in the Legal Profession

Alarmingly, the LPRU Women in Commercial Legal Practice report, launched in 2017, found that approximately 50% of female respondents and 30% of male respondents have experienced bullying in connection with their employment in the legal sector. Almost 30% of female respondents have been sexually harassed in connection with their workplace. The LPRU believes this to be unacceptable in any profession, let alone one that prides itself as being integral to justice and the rule of law.

Following on from this project, the IBA LPRU resolved to undertake a new survey to gain an empirical basis for understanding the nature and prevalence of bullying and sexual harassment in the profession around the world. The ultimate outcome of the survey will be a report outlining the findings and offering observations and recommendations. The IBA LPRU hopes that the report will encourage law firms to revisit their policies and training for responding to and preventing bullying and harassment.

The LPRU’s global survey on bullying and harassment in the legal profession closed in late 2018. With 7,000 responses from 134 countries, it is the largest survey ever undertaken on this topic. The LPRU is in the process of preparing a report, which will be launched with a breakfast event at Herbert Smith Freehills on Wednesday 15 May 2019. Please register your interest here.

The launch will be followed by a global engagement campaign, with initial planning underway for events in North America, Latin America, Africa and Australia/New Zealand. These events will be held in collaboration with local Working Group members, bar associations, law societies and group member firms. This campaign will culminate with a showcase session at the 2019 IBA Annual Conference in Seoul.


Working Group Members

  • Anthony Atata, African Regional Forum
  • Clare Corke, Asia-Pacific Regional Forum
  • Paula Vieira de Oliveira, Gender and Diversity Officer, Latin American Regional Forum
  • Hans Sydow, Gender and Diversity Officer, Latin American Regional Forum
  • Brenda Pritchard, North American Regional Forum
  • Sidika Baysal, European Regional Forum
  • Sarah Gregory, Baker & McKenzie
  • Jane Park-Weir, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Sarah Tucker, CMS
  • Ann-Marie McGaughey, Dentons
  • Ignacio Funes de Rioja, IBA Global Employment Institute
  • Bettina Bender, IBA Global Employment Institute
  • Dominika Stepinska-Duch, IBA Women Lawyers Interest Group
  • Patricia Menendez Cambó, IBA Women Lawyers Interest Group
  • Carolina Zang, Law Firm Management Committee
  • Ken Murphy, Bar Issues Commission Officer
  • Kieran Pender (Chair), LPRU Project Lead

To find out more about the project or if you would like to offer help in disseminating the survey, please contact LPRU@int-bar.org