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Harmers ask media to leave client alone

Harmers ask media to leave client alone

Harmers Workplace Lawyers have requested that the media stop trying to contact the woman at the centre of the resignation of the former head of David Jones.In a statement released today, Harmers…

Harmers Workplace Lawyers have requested that the media stop trying to contact the woman at the centre of the resignation of the former head of David Jones.

In a statement released today, Harmers confirmed that it is acting for Kristy Fraser-Kirk, a 25 year-old junior publicist, in the matter relating to Mark McInnes, the former David Jones CEO.

Mark McInnes suddenly quit late last week after admitting to inappropriate conduct towards Kristy Fraser-Kirk. In a statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday, McInnes admitted to behaving in a manner "unbecoming of the high standard expected of a chief executive officer to a female staff member". It has since been reported that McInnes made sexual advances towards Ms Fraser-Kirk at separate functions in late May and early June.

McInnes walked away with a "mutually agreed" sum of $1.5 million on top of his statutory pay of $450,000.

Harmers statement requested the media to respect the privacy of Ms Fraser-Kirk. It said that she has been forced to leave her home in Sydney's North Shore due to the "pressures of the media who have been staked out there", and that other female David Jones employees had been approached by the media, speculating they were the woman involved. The statement added that neither Harmers nor Ms Fraser-Kirk would be making any further comments at this time.

The McInnes matter is second high-profile sexual harassment case Harmers has acted on recently. The firm also acted for Christina Rich, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, who settled a long-running sexual harassment complaint against PwC in 2008 for an estimated $5 million.

Johnson Winter & Slattery was unable to confirm media reports that it was representing Mark McInnes when the firm was contacted by Lawyers Weekly.

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