Bakers settles $6m sex case

Baker & McKenzie has settled its US sexual harassment suit brought by former secretary Rena Weeks by paying out over $6m.

Weeks, who worked in the firm's San Diego office, claimed she was harassed by partner Martin Greenstein and filed a suit in 1992.

A jury originally awarded Weeks almost $7m but this was halved by a state appeals court. The Supreme Court of California this month refused to hear arguments on reducing the sum further, effectively sanctioning a $3.5m payout.

As a result, Bakers agreed to settle the case and paid the $3.5m to Weeks on 10 September. With interest and fees, Bakers will have paid out over $6m.

Weeks' lawyer, sole practitioner Philip Kay, claimed Bakers had “thrown in the towel”.

Bakers' general counsel Edward Zulkey said “the firm could have tried to take the case to the US Supreme Court, but we are used to being lawyers and are not interested in becoming the lead case – that is not consistent with our purpose as a law firm”. He said the firm regretted any harm caused to Weeks.