Victor Stockinger, 61, made a series of racist and sexist remarks during a lawyer’s position
A lawyer who blamed ‘wokeism’ after being dragged before his governing body for making a series of racist and sexist comments at a lawyer’s position has since been fired.
New Zealander Victor Stockinger, 61, told an Afghan human rights lawyer she must “return to Afghanistan to educate the Taliban about terrorism.”
He also told a purchasing director at a top company that Africans “were not good at business and never will be” and that “Indians and Europeans have made Congo civil.”
Stockinger later questioned a Jewish lawyer whether she was really Jewish.
Stockinger, who has worked extensively in Africa and Afghanistan, said he simply made innocent remarks in 2019 as “icebreakers” on the Supreme Court post of the Solicitors’ Association of Higher Court Advocates.
He claimed that the partner of one of the women held a grudge against him and retaliated by ambushing him at the baptism by making the three women complain about him.
But the Solicitors Disciplinary Court found that all witnesses who testified against him were “completely sincere” and Stockinger has now been suspended.
Court president Paul Housego said lawyers should conduct themselves in a way that “reflects each person’s personal characteristics.”
“This is not wakeism as Mr Stockinger suggests. The depth of the pain, humiliation and anger felt even two years later by the young and diverse legal professionals with whom Mr. Stockinger had erred at that meeting was evident from their evidence to us, which we found to be completely sincere.” , he said.
“People should not be expected to tolerate this on the basis that people have done so in the past or stood up for themselves.”
Mr Housego said lawyers should “embrace the qualities of equality, diversity and inclusion,” but Stockinger had “made stereotypical assumptions and patronized them.”
Stockinger, who has worked extensively in Africa and Afghanistan, said he simply made innocuous comments like “icebreakers” at the Supreme Court position (pictured) held by the Solicitors’ Association of Higher Court Advocates in 2019.
The attorney was also found guilty of the more serious charges of dishonesty by misleading his regulatory body over a client’s complaint.
The lawyer told the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority in a letter that an appeal had been lodged against a court decision when there was none.
“It can only be unfair to tell the regulator something you know is not true about a material fact relevant to an allegation,” Mr Housego said.
Stockinger appeared to be on the verge of tears when the charges were proven against him and gasped, “I’m traumatized.”
He was also hit with an expense account of £41,850.
Nimi Bruce, for the SRA, said his comments during the post were racially, ethically and religiously motivated.
Stockinger also told shocked guests that “the definition of a successful woman is one who can afford to spend whatever she wants, the definition of a successful man is one who can afford such a woman.”
The offended purchasing boss, who is of African descent, told the hearing that she felt “afraid and victimized” when Stockinger made his comments about Belgian Congo.
“I was one of the few non-legal entities at the event,” she explained.
“I didn’t know if he had specifically victimized me. I was one of the few people of color at the event. I had the feeling that the conversation would not have been had with anyone else.
‘I thought the conversation was with me because of my background. I was stunned. I was quite afraid to do something about it.’
She said Stockinger’s words were “horrific, racist and misogynistic.”
Stockinger had previously had a dispute with an organizer, known only as “Person G,” who was the purchasing director’s partner.
He claimed that the organizer had used the women who complained to plot against him.
“This person had an ax to grind against me. He has longstanding problems and grievances with me,” Stockinger said.
“He made up a cabal of people who had to file a complaint. They were all connected. They were on a mission that night.
“How come these people who were all dealing with Person G were all offended?”
Stockinger, of Bloomsbury, central London, denied making racially, ethnically or religiously motivated statements and failing to comply with an SRA investigation.
The sole practitioner, who was admitted to the profession in 1990, also denied that he did not comply with orders “issued in a proceeding where he had to pay costs to other parties.”
The charges were found proven and he was dropped.