While it’s not a violation to have the same law firm handle two somewhat connected legal matters — one on behalf of Launch House for defamation and one to look into the allegations raised by victims — it is an optical challenge. After all, Launch House advertised that the firm was expected to conduct a neutral investigation, but it’s not really “third party” if the same firm is going after employees, members and journalists speaking about the allegations.

Goldstein said in a statement sent via spokesperson to TechCrunch:

Launch House has asked Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff, LLP to end its investigation and will be engaging a new law firm, one who has never worked with Launch House before, to conduct a thorough and independent investigation.

Goldstein added that a completely separate team within Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff has been working on the investigation, and that Launch House “trusted their ability to remain impartial with those standard separation practices.”

However, he said in his statement, “we do not want there to be even the appearance of any conflict, so a new law firm will be engaged as soon as possible to conduct this crucial work … We must learn exactly what happened, so we can best ensure it never happens again.” TechCrunch reached out to an attorney at the law firm but did not immediately hear back.

The company’s most recent town hall, conducted at the end of September, laid out a forward-looking plan to its community. Beyond the investigation, the firm claims it is working with a diversity, equity and inclusion firm to audit and update its processes. It also said it is expanding its zero tolerance policy to cover a broader range of misconduct.

Launch House splits with law firm conducting its harassment investigation by Natasha Mascarenhas originally published on TechCrunch