A trainee solicitor has started an online petition calling for the legal profession’s regulatory body to take firmer action over workplace bullying.
Tamara Rossi, 36, from Larkholme, Fleetwood says she has launched the campaign because of her own experiences and bullying across the legal profession.
Ms Rossi says she was subjected to serious bullying by a senior solicitor while training with a Blackpool legal firm for 18 months in the mid 2000’s.
At the time of her experiences, Andrew Eastham was the senior partner of Easthams Solicitors and thereafter a director of Eastham Solicitors Ltd, Church Street, Blackpool.
Ms Rossi said despite complaining about the bullying at Easthams and thereafter Easthams Solicitors Limited, he failed to protect her and even exacerbated the situation. It culminated in two court cases where the firm paid out a substantial sum.
Her petition calls for more to be done about bullying by the profession’s watchdog body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Ms Rossi said: “Due to the fact that bullying in the legal profession is rife, with over half of all woman solicitors facing bullying and one in three male solicitors facing the same, this needs to be addressed.
“I presented the SRA with overwhelming evidence, written admissions and other victims’ accounts in my own case, but no action was taken. The behaviour towards me was shocking and totally unacceptable and was validated by the two legal cases against the firm, but the SRA did nothing and is still doing nothing.”
An Easthams spokesman said: “Andrew Eastham retired from Easthams Solicitors as long ago as 2006 since when he has had no involvement at all in the business.
“Easthams Solicitors Ltd has anti-bullying procedures in place and does not condone bullying in the workplace or at all.” Miss Rossi’s two pay-outs came after an employment tribunal claim in 2006 and a stress in the workplace claim in 2011.