Silence isn't golden

The difficulties City firm Simmons & Simmons finds itself in, with unprecedented allegations being made against a partner, can only elicit sympathy at this stage. But whatever the outcome, the firm has already suffered damage to its reputation, however unfair. The loss of a major client will also hit its billings.

The firm chose to stonewall the media with a 'no comment', presumably as a 'least said the better' containment exercise. The wisdom of this is questionable as it inevitably fans speculation as to why statements are not being made in support of the partner. However, this case is complicated by the fact that four other partners are implicated, but without formal indictments, which makes it difficult if not impossible to respond.

It is hard to understand why the robust statement from the accused partner's defence lawyer issued in New York was not distributed to the media here.