A leading barristers’ chambers has been thrown into crisis over its handling of sexual harassment allegations against one of its senior lawyers, The Times has learnt.
Members of Matrix Chambers, the internationally recognised human rights set, have been warned that any public discussion about investigations into an alleged sexual assault said to have occurred last year would be “highly corrosive”.
The issue is also potentially damaging for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) because it concerns an alleged assault by Ben Emmerson, QC, a member of Matrix, in a lift at its head office in central London.
An investigation into the allegations, commissioned by Matrix last year and carried out by the retired High Court judge Sir David Calvert-Smith, exonerated Mr Emmerson, former lead counsel to the IICSA. Matrix has not published the report but said in a statement in December last year that it “concluded ‘without hesitation’ that Mr Emmerson had not committed any act of sexual assault or sexual harassment”.