Law

Senior Russell McVeagh partner Pip Greenwood to stand down

Pip Greenwood was one of the firm's big dealmakers.

Senior corporate lawyer and the former chairwoman of Russell McVeagh, Pip Greenwood, has confirmed she will resign from the firm next March.

The law firm says in a statement Ms Greenwood will pursue directorship roles, saying she had delayed plans to move into governance because of the allegations of sexual misconduct made by summer interns.

Ms Greenwood played an important role fronting the media for the premier law firm which this year has been dogged by Newsroom revelations two lawyers left the firm following accusations of sexual assault made by interns.

The M&A lawyer, who was chair of the firm in 2010 and 2011, told NBR at the time it had been a very upsetting and distressing period.

“I’ve personally found it quite challenging because our primary obligation as the employer is to look after our staff and we let these young women down.”

Russell McVeagh has since appointed a new chief executive, Jo Avenell, who will look at implementing a raft of changes to the firm's processes and culture.

Ms Greenwood has been with Russell McVeagh for 18 years and holds directorships at Spark and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

Current chairman Malcolm Crotty says in a statement Ms Greenwood led on many of the firm’s high-profile deals.

“In addition to her professional excellence, Pip has played a leading role in changes within our profession. I am grateful to Pip for putting her own plans on hold in order to lead the internal changes as interim chief executive and she leaves the firm well placed to continue with a revitalised culture,” he says.”

Last month a different Russell McVeagh partner left the firm following an independent investigation into complaints regarding inappropriate comments made under the influence of alcohol.

Mr Crotty said a thorough investigation substantiated the complaints and the partner concerned resigned.

“We are deeply disappointed in the partner at the centre of the investigation,” Mr Crotty says.

Since the February scandal, prominent litigator Andrew Butler also left the firm to take up a position in barristers chambers, a move which the firm says is not connected to the misconduct allegations.

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