Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein has hit back at the six women who are suing the bank for $1.4bn (£791m) for alleged sex discrimination, accusing them of courting publicity and attempting to smear the firm’s reputation.
In court documents filed at the weekend in New York, Dresdner applied for the dismissal of the case of Katherine Smith, a London-based banker. The German firm claimed that she should bring her case separately under UK law.
The bank also asked the court to excise “scandalous and mean-spirited” allegations about visits to strip clubs and an open affair by a former chief executive.
Dresdner said that these claims were irrelevant because none of the women claimed to be victims of sexual harassment. Instead, the women contend that they were denied promotion and were paid less than men.
In its court application, Dresdner said: “Plaintiffs’ malicious tactics are clear: issue a press release to the media in the US, London and Frankfurt; file the complaint; do not serve defendants with the complaint; and let the press have a field day with the individual defendants at their homes.”
Douglas Wigdor, the lawyer representing the women, said: “What Dresdner is doing is so deplorable that it’s important to inform the public rather than remaining silent.”