In-House Counsel

Fired Top In-House Lawyer Testifies She Was Bullied by Underling

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A London lawyer who headed the legal department at insurance giant Zurich UK Services claims in a lawsuit that bullying from an underling led to her mental breakdown and firing.

Caroline Cowper, 53, says her company failed to support her, leading to her mental breakdown and dismissal after she took sick leave, according to the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.

Cowper made 150,000 pounds a year in her job, which translates to more than $220,000. She is seeking more than $1.1 million in damages.

Cowper told the London High Court that a junior colleague “bullied and harassed” her, and made untrue accusations at a mediation meeting, according to the Telegraph account. “She said that I had harassed her and bullied her, that I hated her and had been in a campaign against her ever since she arrived,” Cowper testified.

Cowper claims the insurer wrongly upheld the colleague’s grievance against her, and allowed the colleague to undermine her. Zurich UK Services denies liability.

Last edited March 5, 2013.

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