Freehills partner Philippa Stone has been named as the tenth respondent to the $37 million sexual harassment claim of former David Jones employee, Kristy Fraser-Kirk.
Stone, a partner and co-head of the Freehills equity capital markets group, was appointed to the David Jones board as a non-executive director in early March this year, and is now defending the claim along with former CEO Mark McInnes and eight other board members.
Fraser-Kirk lodged a statement of claim in the Federal Court last month which outlines that she was sexually harassed by McInnes on several occasions.
Fraser-Kirk also claims the David Jones board knew of McInnes' behaviour and failed to do anything about it. She claims that members of the board, including Stone, failed to rectify what she has described as misleading and deceptive statements made by David Jones, and failed to follow through with representations that they would "support" her and "appropriately address" her claims against McInnes.
Last Friday (10 September), Fraser-Kirk amended her original statement of claim to include allegations that McInnes was counseled in regard to inappropriate behaviour towards at least two women while working at Black & Decker between 1989 and 1991, and also that the David Jones board failed to sufficiently improve the way the company dealt with sexual harassment, despite previous allegations made by three employees against another David Jones manager.
McInnes and the David Jones board have denied the claims and have until 24 September to file a defence.