find the latest legal job
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
4+ PAE Commercial Lawyer - Contract Role (Maternity cover)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· 4+ years PAE · End-to-end deal carriage
View details
Partners and Senior Specialist Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Australia
· Earn 70% of billings and fixed referral incentives · Full practice flexibility & freedom
View details
Allens embroiled in secretary stoush

Allens embroiled in secretary stoush

IT WILL go down as the email exchange of the year, and possibly the decade. Allens Arthur Robinson was last week embroiled in an email stoush between two secretaries in the Sydney office that…

IT WILL go down as the email exchange of the year, and possibly the decade. Allens Arthur Robinson was last week embroiled in an email stoush between two secretaries in the Sydney office that was soon forwarded around the world.

“I am in a happy relationship, have a beautiful apartment, brand new car, high paid job … say no more,” one secretary wrote. “Oh my God, I’m laughing,” the other replied, “beautiful apartment (so what), brand new car (me too), high paid job (I earn more) … say plenty more … I have 5 guys at the moment. Haha.”

The email exchange that had begun as a search for sandwich components that had disappeared from a fridge on level 19 soon turned into a personal attack. The emails were forwarded by one of the women to a lawyer within the firm, and soon ran out of control and outside the firm.

Entering the inboxes of people at Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Bank, Queensland Government, law firm McCullough Robertson, Gadens Lawyers, Phillips Fox, BT Financial Group, Westpac Institutional Bank and others, the email was forwarded between the states and territories. Recipients added their comments and forwarded them on.

“So this is what happens in those posh Sydney firms,” one person wrote. “This just shows how bitchy the Big Law firms can be. Wow. A must read,” wrote another.

Newspapers across the globe last week reported that the two women had been sacked, a UK news site, The Register, reported: “[The secretaries] were duly sacked for their efforts, and a hunt is underway for the culprit who released the material into the wild.”

Unions have criticised the law firm, assuming that the women were sacked solely because of the email exchange. “I just hope this hasn’t happened because they are women and clerks rather than lawyers,” president of the United Services Union, Michael Want told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Allens was forced centre stage in the virtual scoop, and it became an accepted notion in the press that the women has been fired because of the email exchange. Lawyers Weekly understands that there is long held animosity between the two women.

When pressed about the fate of the two women earlier this week, Allens Arthur Robinson refused to comment. The firm warned instead that it is a lesson to all companies and individuals about the improper use of email. “Employees have been reminded of the appropriate use of email as a result of an unfortunate email exchange last week. The email exchange serves as a salutary lesson to all organisations and individuals about the potential consequences of inappropriate use of corporate email and intranet services,” a spokesperson said.

The rate at which emails can be sent was illustrated last week on the user hits on auction site eBay, which was auctioning off “one pack of ham, some cheese slices and two slices of bread, perfect for that tasty lunch sandwich, especially if your (sic) short of change. Found in fridge on level 19 of an undisclosed building in the Sydney CBD.”

On Friday last week, a link to the site was forwarded across the country, the hits on the page being proof of the speed of this viral marketing. At 9.45am last Friday, the site had received 260 hits, and a bid for the contents of about $1. An hour later, at 10.45am, the site had received 643 hits. Fifteen minutes later, at 11am, 898 people had clicked on to the site. By 11.05am there had been 1,023 hits, and by 11.30am the same day, there had been 1,940 hits. About half an hour later, at 12.05pm, the site had received 4,305 hits. By 2.30pm, the link had been removed from the site.

Comments appeared on the eBay site, including questions about the contents for sale. “I’m recently unemployed … will I be able to pay in instalments? If not, maybe we can go on a ‘date’. I have two free nights per week,” one asked. “I’m sorry I’m unable to accept instalments. And as for the date, this seems pointless as everyone knows you can’t keep a man,” the seller replied.

“In terms of quantity: is there enough to cater for myself and, say, 5 guys?” one prospective buyer asked. “I think you and 5 guys would be sandwiches a plenty already,” the seller replied.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Allens embroiled in secretary stoush
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Jan 17 2018
Lawyers lash out over latest Dutton attack
A number of legal bodies have condemned federal home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s latest commen...
Car crash, driverless cars
Jan 17 2018
Driverless cars a privacy car crash in the making
The testing of driverless cars on Australian roads has presented a new challenge, with serious conce...
new role with SA judicial appointment, scales of justice
Jan 15 2018
Worker's comp expert takes on new role with SA judicial appointment
An Adelaide barrister has been appointed deputy president of the South Australian Employment Tribuna...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...