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London lawyer who quit over sex messages insists he was the victim

A top lawyer who quit one of the world’s biggest law firms after sending inappropriate messages to a married woman insisted he was the victim. 

Bill Voge was the London-based global chairman of US firm Latham & Watkins before he resigned this week amid a growing sex scandal in the industry.

Mr Voge, who is also married, met the woman through a Christian organisation before exchanging graphic sexual text messages, it emerged this week.

Top lawyer Bill Voge, pictured with wife Jami, has stepped down from a top law firm after sending inappropriate messages to a married woman

But Mr Voge’s lawyer insisted the woman was a ‘cyberstalker’ and sent a letter insisting Mr Voge ‘has suffered emotional distress’, reported.

Mr Voge also sent the woman’s husband’s messages accepting his actions were ‘sinful, but not a crime’ and threatening to take legal action against her to ‘help the next victim’, the website reported.

‘It is not threats about jail. She will be in jail!!!’ Voge is said to have written.

The woman wrote in an email: ‘Bill Voge knew I was in pain and he took advantage of that… what other women has he done this to?’ 

Mr Voge, who never met the woman in person, has insisted he has done nothing illegal, but quit the huge law firm yesterday.

He said in a statement: ‘I deeply regret my lapse of judgment and I am sorry for the distress and embarrassment I have caused my family, friends, and colleagues.

‘My conduct falls well below the personal and professional standards I have tried to uphold throughout my entire career.’

The American firm has lavish offices in Bishopsgate, in the heart of the city of London

The American firm has lavish offices in Bishopsgate, in the heart of the city of London

The company said in a statement: ‘Mr Voge tendered his resignation after making a series of voluntary disclosures to the firm’s executive committee relating to his personal conduct.

‘Mr Voge’s conduct involved the exchange of communications of a sexual nature with a woman whom he has never met in person and who had no connection to the firm. Mr Voge’s conduct did not involve the firm, any of its clients, or its personnel.

‘Mr Voge engaged in subsequent conduct relating to this matter that, while not unlawful, the executive committee concluded was not befitting the leader of the firm.’

Mr Voge was educated at Berkeley before joing Latham and Watkins in 1983. He has worked in the firm’s London, New York and San Diego, specialising in energy and finance contracts, and became global chairmain in 2015. 

His resignation follows a series of sexual harassment claims at law firms.

In February, the London branch of global law firm Baker Mckenzie said on Wednesday it had appointed an external legal team to review how it had responded to an employee’s allegation that she had been sexually assaulted by one of the firm’s partners.