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Breaking the silence

Bullying happens in law firms like anywhere else and can take many forms, writes Kevin Poulter

20 November 2015

This week marked national Bullying Awareness Week. As an employment lawyer, it is not unusual to work with people who are bullied in their places of work or, from time to time, work with the bullies themselves.

The striking thing about both victim and aggressor is that, frequently, on the face of it, you cannot tell them apart. We can all look the same, hiding behind a faux innocence or brave face, but the mask will almost always slip. There remain, of course, the more obvious bullies.

Bullying happens in law firms like anywhere else and can take many forms. It's unlikely to be as overt as stealing lunch money from junior staff and may not even take place in public areas. It's probably not as commonplace as it once was, despite working in an increasingly demanding, high-stress, deadline-driven workplace, where tensions run high and relationships are strained.

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