Bill Voge, the managing partner and chair of US legal giant Latham & Watkins, has quit after engaging in “communications of a sexual nature” with a woman outside the law firm.

American citizen Voge joined Latham in 1983 and was elected to lead the firm’s City office in 2015.

In a personal statement, Voge said: “It is with great sorrow that I step down as chair and managing partner of Latham & Watkins. I made a personal mistake for which I bear considerable fault and humiliation. I deeply regret my lapse of judgement and I am sorry for the distress and embarrassment I have caused my family, friends, and colleagues.

“My conduct falls well below the personal and professional standards I have tried to uphold throughout my entire career. My disappointment in myself is all the more acute because this lapse does not represent who I am and what I believe, and because I have let down our firm and its people, all of whom I so deeply cherish and respect.”

Voge’s conduct was found “not befitting the leader of the firm”. Latham & Watkins recently became the world’s first law firm to exceed $3bn in annual revenue, with profits per equity partner growing 6 per cent to $3.25m.

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