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UK Lawyers at Centre of Lewd E-Mail Row Keep Jobs

December 21, 2000

LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - London lawyers who forwarded a sexually explicit e-mail which went around the world have been disciplined but not dismissed, their law firm said on Thursday.

Bradley Chait, an employee at the Norton Rose firm, received an e-mail from his girlfriend Claire Swire graphically describing her enjoyment of oral sex.

Chait then forwarded it to six friends last week, adding the message ``now that's a nice compliment from a lass, isn't it.''

It spread to computer screens across the world, with the Norton Rose name attached, and had been read by an estimated 10 million people by last weekend.

The firm began a disciplinary investigation to root out the culprits, saying their behaviour was a clear breach of the firm's employment terms.

The investigation was completed on Thursday.

``The employees have been disciplined but not dismissed,'' the firm said in a statement. ``The employees concerned are horrified by the consequences of, and genuinely regret, their actions.''

A web-site — — was set up in honour of Swire who went into hiding shortly after the affair became public.

The 26-year-old public relations executive has been offered a job hosting TV porn shows on satellite station Playboy TV, according to reports in tabloid newspaper News of the World.

Meanwhile the official regulator of London's City, the Financial Services Authority, said on Thursday it had identified a ``handful'' of staff who had breached policy in connection with the Swire e-mail and would be taking ``appropriate action.''

© 2000, Reuters News Service


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