Lawyer who warned trainees never to wear brown shoes with blue suits under fire

The ‘no brown in town’ adage has been the subject of scorn, sneers and scandal in City pubs for more than 100 years. Yet despite an increasing awareness of social mobility and social taboos, one top city law firm appears to have shunned such progress.

An unnamed partner has reportedly passed on some controversial sartorial advice to aspiring young lawyers.

Speaking at Thomson Reuters’ ‘Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law’ conference at London’s Hilton Tower Bridge hotel last week, the unnamed partner was reported to have told juniors: “Don’t wear brown shoes with a blue suit”.
The comments were first reported by Legal Cheek, quoting legal affairs journalist Catherine Baksi, who attended the event.

Ms Baksi tweeted that the partner, who worked at a top international law firm, was passing on advice to “unsuitably dressed trainees”.
Ms Baksi said that the comments were made within the context of helping people from non-traditional backgrounds who would not know “unspoken dress code rules” about blue suits and brown shoes.

“But then as other people quite rightly said,” Ms Baksi added, “it’s for the dress code law to change” and not the candidates.

The comments immediately sparked a backlash on social media, with lawyers saying that the comments were “a step too far”.
“This is silly,” Matthew Richardson, a family law barrister at Coram Chambers said, while another user wrote, “sounds like lack in sense or fashion; or quite possibly both. People should wear what they want. The partner should get out of others’ wardrobes, or just get out more. People see an expert for his/her expertise, not for their dress sense”.

Paras Gorasia, a barrister specialising in employment law at Doughty Street Chambers, said of the comments: “Not entirely sure that the fashion sense (or lack thereof) of potential trainees is a priority, it is clearly advisable to dress professionally but this level of prescription is probably a step too far.”
“This is silly,” Matthew Richardson, a family law barrister at Coram Chambers said, while another user wrote, “sounds like lack in sense or fashion; or quite possibly both. People should wear what they want. The partner should get out of others’ wardrobes, or just get out more. People see an expert for his/her expertise, not for their dress sense”.

Paras Gorasia, a barrister specialising in employment law at Doughty Street Chambers, said of the comments: “Not entirely sure that the fashion sense (or lack thereof) of potential trainees is a priority, it is clearly advisable to dress professionally but this level of prescription is probably a step too far.”

The Telegraph.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *