A business development specialist at Dentons is suing the global law firm and her supervisor, alleging the firm failed to act when he sexually harassed her.
The accuser, Krunali Parekh, alleges that her supervisor has been making sexual advances toward her since September 2017 despite her rebuffs. The supervisor, Alton Delane, is a managing director in the firm’s venture technology group.
The firm’s human resources officials forbade Parekh to discuss her complaints, she said in documents filed June 11 in state court in New York.
Dentons provided Bloomberg Law a statement June 11 saying it is “deeply troubled by the allegations against a non-lawyer employee, which are contrary to our values and culture of respect.” Delane is on administrative leave while the firm investigates, it said.
“Upon conclusion of the investigation, we are committed to taking appropriate and additional action as necessary,” Dentons said.
Parekh is still working at the firm’s office in New York.
Delane “made numerous egregious comments about her” and subjected her to “sexual advances and touching,” Parekh’s lawyer, David E. Gottlieb, told Bloomberg Law June 11. “She complained to her other supervisor and to HR, and she told him numerous times to stop,” he said. “Nothing was done about her complaint except to tell her not to speak to anyone inside or outside the firm.”
Parekh is seeking damages for pain and suffering as well as “punitive damages to send a message to Dentons and to all law firms around the country that this conduct is unacceptable,” Gottlieb said. Dentons “knew about this for months” but didn’t start investigating until Gottlieb’s law firm got involved, the attorney said.
The case is Krunali Parekh v. Dentons US LLP, N.Y. Sup. Ct., No. 155465/2018, complaint filed 6/11/18.
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(Updated throughout with additional reporting.)