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‘I like what I see’ — UK-based Nigerian lawyer fined £20k for s.e3.xual comments to job seeker

  Victor Nwosu, a UK-based Nigerian solicitor has been fined £20,000 by the UK solicitors disciplinary tribunal for making s3..exual comment...

 


Victor Nwosu, a UK-based Nigerian solicitor has been fined £20,000 by the UK solicitors disciplinary tribunal for making s3..exual comments to a female job seeker.

 

Nwosu was said to have repeatedly commented to the woman, who was interviewing for a paralegal role, about her looks and said “mmm, I like what I see” after asking her to turn around.

 

The woman reported being “horrified” by the interview and said she felt “like a piece of meat”.

 

The woman was said to have been interviewed for a position at Nwosu’s north west London practice, Dylan Conrad Kreolle Solicitors, in 2018, following a recommendation from someone already working at the firm.

 

The lawyer reportedly arrived late for the interview and also left the room for around 10 minutes during which the woman sent messages to friends that she “felt scared” and that Nwosu had “repeatedly” told her how beautiful she was.

 

According to voice notes said to have been sent after the interview, the female applicant said: “He asked me if I have a boyfriend; he said that I was very very beautiful; he told me that I have to wear skirts when I come into work; he doesn’t like it when women wear trousers.; he said that I would only be working for him and nobody else.”

 

Nwosu, however, denied the allegations and said that the interviewee was motivated by “female activism gone wrong”.

 

Although he did admit to saying “mmm, I like what I see”, he said he was only referring to the applicant’s CV.

 

The lawyer also said the woman misunderstood him when he talked about wearing skirts, stating that it was the company’s dress code.

 

The tribunal, however, rejected Nwosu’s submissions and held that it found the interviewee’s claims to be “credible, consistent, reliable and persuasive”.

 

The tribunal went on to find, as an aggravating factor, that his misconduct was s.33.xually motivated.

 

In considering sanction, it said that Nwosu’s actions had “caused extensive, direct harm to the reputation of the legal profession” and “represented a grave departure from the requisite standards of integrity, probity and trustworthiness that the public was entitled to expect from solicitors”.

 

The tribunal ordered Nwosu to pay a £20,000 fine for the “deplorable, unacceptable and discriminatory” behaviour, and also granted the application of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for £23,500 in costs on the investigation into the matter.

 

According to the tribunal, the £20,000 fine would be forfeited to the Queen of England.

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