12:30, February 15 1515 0

2018-02-15 12:30:10
Ex-Linklaters partner sentenced to three years in prison for sexual assault

A former Linklaters partner has been sentenced for three years and three months for sexual assault.

Former Linklaters Germany tax partner Thomas Elser was sentenced in a trial at a Munich Court today for his conduct at a law firm event in 2014, when he was accused of sexually assaulting an intern at the firm. Juve first reported the court’s decision this afternoon.

Another partner, Laurenz Schmidt, was also charged for physically assaulting Elser following the fallout at the Oktoberfest event in 2014. The two partners were discharged from the firm with immediate effect.

Following the 2014 incident Linklaters launched an internal investigation carried out by then senior partner Robert Elliot and partner Christa Band. The judge said that Linklaters carried out its internal investigation appropriately.

The two offending partners left the firm shortly afterwards, and the victim is no longer at the firm, The Lawyer understands.

In the charges in German law read as “rape and intentional assault” which has a wider meaning than in English law, in which Elser’s charges read as sexual assault.

A spokesperson for Linklaters said: “We have always been mindful that there is a young student at the centre of this case. That concern has guided our behaviour and priorities throughout.”

About 40 witnesses, including several Linklaters lawyers, were called on to give evidence, with former senior partner Carl-Peter Feick understood to have been present. Feick remains a partner in the firm’s banking practice.