• Register
Return to: Home > News > Big Four > Former partners at KPMG and PwC accused of sexual harassment

Former partners at KPMG and PwC accused of sexual harassment

A former partner at KPMG South Australia has left the firm following an investigation over a sexual harassment claim against him, while a former PwC UK partner accused of sexual harassment is suing the firm for £5m (USD $6.8m) for unfair dismissal.

KPMG Australia national chairman Alison Kitchen said the firm was "incredibly disappointed and frustrated" at the partner’s behaviour, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kitchen told FairFax Media they had a “textbook response” with an investigation, communicating with staff for safety and understanding, and involvement of the CEO and board. KPMG Australia CEO Gary Wingrove said in a statement to KPMG’s staff and partners that KPMG had fully investigated and addressed the matter as the individual no longer works at the firm.

The news follows a separate investigation into a sexual harassment claim against a managing partner at EY Adelaide. A Former KPMG partner and managing partner at EY since 2015 Don Manifold, was suspended in January on full pay following the allegations made by a junior female staff member, who had also been suspended in December over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Meanwhile a former PwC UK partner is suing the firm for £5m claiming unfair dismissal on the grounds of race and age after being forced to resign over sexual harassment allegations. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was accused of sexually assaulting a colleague at an Italian ski resort event attended by 50 PwC staff members.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the unnamed partner who is in his 60s allegedly assaulted a female colleague after consuming a significant amount of alcohol at a fancy dress party. He claimed that he did not remember the incident due to blacking out from the alcohol.

The firm began disciplinary procedures in March 2016 and he took forced retirement in May 2016. A spokesperson for PwC said that they reject the allegations that age or race had any bearing whatsoever on the decision.

At the tribunal, PwC's barrister asked whether the partner was aware of his actions considering he could not remember anything, to which the partner replied “I didn't do anything she is claiming I did”. He claimed that PwC had already decided to retire him for being Indian and beyond retirement age before the disciplinary process had concluded. The tribunal continues.

Top Content

    Time pressure: Facing up to mental health

    In an ‘always on’ culture, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage a healthy work-life balance. While companies are beginning to address this problem by introducing different support systems, Joe Pickard finds more could be done to ensure the wellbeing of the professions workforce.

    read more

    Venezuela: the race for the dollar

    With a new currency following hyperinflation, large sections of the population emigrating to neighbouring countries, an economy on the brink of collapse and no apparent solution coming from the government, Jonathan Minter finds a profession struggling to stay afloat in Venezuela.

    read more

    Brazil: transparency and control

    Brazilian accountants have an optimistic view of the impact of more-regular reporting and the implications of audit controversies for the profession. Paul Golden reports.

    read more

    Argentina: looking for a clearer view

    The Argentine accounting profession continues to grapple with the impacts of a weak economy and a culture of financial corruption. Paul Golden takes a closer look.

    read more

    Blockchain: adapting to disruptive tech

    In the relatively few years since digital currencies first began using blockchain technology, the array of potential applications has grown significantly – and continues to expand. Dan Balla, Matthew Schell and Dave Uhryniak from Crowe look at how it impacts accountancy.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.