This morning, I tweeted a story about a barrister who’d described his client as a "slag".
Referring to a CCTV film of the client lifting her skirt and flirting with three men who she is then alleged to have taken to murder her wealthy husband, Stuart Rafferty QC stated in his closing speech:
"You’ve all seen the footage in the Crates and Grapes [wine bar]. She’s a slag, it’s a terrible thing to have to say, it’s an awful word. But it doesn’t make her guilty of murder."
Did Rafferty really have to call his client this "awful word"?
Officially, City law firms are beacons of post-sexism enlightenment. In private, though, you hear all sorts of stories...
Occasionally one of these stories creeps into print.
Yesterday an article (£) about French people in London featuring Clifford Chance intern-turned fashion blogger Camille Charrière (pictured) appeared in the Sunday Times. Here's the relevant passage:
Charrière lives and works here, and has an English boyfriend, but she plans to go back to France one day. She first trained as a lawyer in London and worked in the City, but hated it. Male colleagues nicknamed her “Tiny Tits”, and she found the post-work drinking culture hard to keep up with.
Debbie Matthews regrets her night out with a senior male colleague
Wednesday morning. I’m back in the cosy confines of my office, feeling slightly nauseous. The nausea seems less about the wine I drank last night, and more about my flashbacks of the evening.
I eventually left the bar at around 10.30 - too late for me on a school night. Middle-aged lawyer quaffed far too many pints of bitter and started on the shots. I declined. It took me probably an hour to get out of his clutches, with him moving in closer, loosening his tie with one hand, rubbing his thigh with the other. As I edged further away, he sidled up towards me, putting an arm around the back of my chair.
Women are rarely welcomed into judges' chambers for cosy post-case chats, says Deborah Matthews, continuing her tales of legal life
Sitting in my office, reeling at my weakness for having agreed to a drink with predatory middle-aged lawyer, I realise I have work to do. So I run haphazardly in my stilettos and pencil skirt to the local county court in order to deal with a ‘protection from harassment’ hearing (how very apt)!
Waiting outside the district judge’s room, I sit quietly and survey the scene. Alpha male barristers are strutting around, briefs in hand, while their young, female clerks run around after them in mild panic that they are missing one of the orders being thrown at them.