A high profile lawyer has been found dead, just hours after he was accused of inappropriate behaviour towards female co-workers at the office Christmas party.
Geraint Thomas was 47 years-old and married with two children.
He was partner at the Eversheds Sutherland law firm in the UK, and specialised in helping businesses deal with Brexit.
His body was found at the bottom of a cliff in Wales on December 18.
The previous day he had been called to the law firm’s head office where he was told of complaints made against him by two female colleagues.
They claimed Mr Thomas had behaved inappropriately at an end-of-year work function.
While the nature of the accusations have not been released, the UK Telegraph reported the two women who made the allegations were “devastated” by Mr Thomas’ death.
Law firm pays tribute
Eversheds Sutherland chief executive Lee Ranson paid tribute to his colleague in an official statement.
“On behalf of the firm I can confirm with great sadness that Geraint Thomas, a partner in our commercial team, was found dead on 18 December 2018,” he said, according to the Telegraph.
“Details surrounding his death are unclear and we are currently liaising with his family and the police.
“Geraint was a highly respected and esteemed lawyer who, having joined the firm in 1994 spent his entire career with the firm.”
Mr Ranson also passed on his condolences to Mr Thomas’ family, including wife Rebecca and the couple’s two young daughters.
“A truly exceptional lawyer, he will be remembered for his dedication to his clients and to the firm in equal measure. He will be greatly missed,” he said.
“Our sincere sympathies and thoughts are with Geraint’s wife, family and friends at this exceptionally difficult time.
“Many of Geraint’s colleagues have also been deeply affected by this tragic news.
“We are working with everyone to ensure they have appropriate, professional support in the coming weeks and months.
“As this is an ongoing investigation I am unable to provide further comment at this time.”
A terrible tragedy
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Discrimination Claims said the case is a terrible tragedy.
“End of year work functions are notorious for sexual harassment complaints, because people drink too much and end up behaving inappropriately,” he said.
“Some people face disciplinary action, while others can end up losing their job.
“Whatever has happened in this case, it is just tragic that it may have caused this man to take his own life.
“If you have got yourself into trouble at work, you should know that there are people that can help you through whatever process you are facing – and in most cases, it is never as bad as it might seem.”
If you or someone you know needs crisis support, there is help available.
Please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you are facing disciplinary action over a workplace incident, we can help.
Please call Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837.
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