A high-flying banker who claimed she was forced out of HSBC after an affair with a married colleague is “unreliable and self-righteous,” a labor court ruled when they dismissed her case.
Madeleine Luckham, 38, head of labor for staff digitization, said her life turned hell when she beat the bell with 48-year-old father of four Robert Clegg.
She accused him of having “set up a mission to destroy her career” and named him “Weinstein” after the imprisoned movie magnate who hunted actresses.
She also claimed that Mr. Clegg had sex in the work toilet with another employee shortly after their split and winked when she came out “toilet” sweaty.
But a labor court accepted his explanation that he was helping the woman clean up after she was sick when she heard disturbing news and that the division of the office meant that Mrs. Luckham could not have the position she claimed.
Ms. Luckham, whose £ 550 a day contractor rate would have earned her £ 185,000 a year, said she had been promised a job of £ 130,000 a year she never got due to sexism at the bank.
But other workers and contractors complained about her.
Madeleine Luckham (left, outside Stratford Employment Tribunal) has accused Robert Clegg (right) of sexual harassment and refuses to give her the job he allegedly promised during their affair
In an email from superior Lloyd Robson, it said, “The aggressiveness and mannerism some of these conversations were conducted for and others were not tolerated and are not expected by anyone at HSBC or in accordance with our values.”
Employment judge Catrin Lewis threw out her claims of gender discrimination, harassment and victimization, saying, “We don’t notice that he (Mr. Clegg) was abusing or acting as he described his power or control over the plaintiff.
“We find that he has treated her more favorably than he had with others in the same circumstances.”
And on the allegation that she was forcibly forced, they ruled: ‘The reason the plaintiff’s contract was not renewed was because of HR’s concerns in very strong terms due to some complaints about her behavior towards colleagues and others they worked with.
“We have faced contradictory accounts of many events, unfortunately we have come to the conclusion that the plaintiff’s account of those events is unreliable and self-righteous.
In many cases, the allegations were based solely on the plaintiff’s interpretation of events or actions, which were not supported by any convincing evidence. ‘
Ms. Luckham had alleged that Mister Clegg flirted before her after splitting with other women, became ‘very useful’ at work with another woman and whispered in the woman’s ear ‘we would have great sex’, the tribunal was told .
She had also claimed, “He smiled at my chest, my lips, touched me in public without being asked.”
Mr. Clegg, the global head of the department, had started a relationship with Mrs. Luckham in October 2017 after a drink.
They went to the bar in the hotel where he was staying across the road where they kissed, the London hearing was told.
Three days later, he invited her to dinner. Mr. Clegg said they had sex for the first time that evening – and the sessions lasted intermittently for “about three months.”
Employment judge Lewis said, “He was married at the time, but his marriage was broken and he described himself as lonely and unhappy.”
Ms. Luckham said she decided to end it at Christmas because of Mr. Clegg’s family life.
She also described the relationship as “back in one minute and back in the next.”
The following month they were in bed together – on a work trip to Hong Kong.
Mrs. Luckham had followed him — angry and upset. They had a long conversation and agreed it wouldn’t work.
Mr. Clegg of Newbury, Berkshire, told her that his wife had consented to marriage counseling. The conversation was painful for both of them, he said.
The judge said, “But they had sex one last time that night – which he described as ‘goodbye sex.'”
But Ms. Luckham said it didn’t end until April. The date is important because she said his attitude to her changed dramatically, the judge said.
The tribunal found text messages sent between her and a friend on January 24 and 27, 2018, including advice like “ you only hurt when you go there again ” when it was already done.
The judge said: “Apparently the plaintiff’s girlfriend encourages her not to master her feelings and not to go back to bed with him.
“ We are pleased that the relationship ended in December 2017 and ended in January 2018.
“We accept Mr Clegg’s report of what happened during the January trip in Hong Kong, that the relationship was over and was not continued after that.
The couple slept together on a business trip to Hong Kong. Shown: A file photo of the HSBC Bank sign in Hong Kong
“We notice that this is also consistent with the fact that between January 31 and April 9 there are no more personal WhatsApp messages between the two, the texts that were there were work-related.”
When Mrs. Luckham Mr. Clegg sent a photo of WhatsApp by Harvey Weinstein, saying it was meant to be a joke – but said he didn’t think it was funny.
The judge said, “He was absolutely hurt and extremely upset, and he also felt there was an implicit threat that she could make accusations about him. ‘
Mr. Clegg told the tribunal, “I was terrified of what she could do from day to day and in the long run. I had a feeling she would come up with what had or had not happened.
“I made a big mistake and I was very sorry.
“I shouldn’t have had a relationship at work and that’s something I learned and I didn’t want to hurt her more than she was hurt.”
Ms. Luckham said that she trusted fellow team member Kai Kartel and they discussed Clegg’s nickname.
She said, “Kai and I discussed Rob, the way he looked at women as if they were prey and the fact that he even nicknamed himself,” Weinstein. “
She added, “There is a culture of sexism at HSBC in which women are objectified by male colleagues, ignored when complaints are raised and removed from the company when they are perceived as ‘difficult’.”
Ms. Luckham, of Teddington in South West London, took Mr. Clegg and HSBC to court for sex discrimination after she was released and a £ 130,000 a year job said she was promised she would never have come out.
But the judge said, “We notice that the plaintiff had started to feel more for Clegg than she expected when she entered into the relationship, and she struggled with her feelings for him, and their relationship and its breakup, throughout the period beginning in January 2018. ‘
Clegg was fired the following year for gross negligence heard by the Stratford Employment Tribunal.
Clegg was found to be in violation of HSBC’s policy during his disciplinary inquiry and was discharged for gross negligence in January 2019.
He admitted at the hearing that he had not declared his relationship with Ms. Luckham and then wife 2, another employee of the bank.