Barrister reaches pinnacle of career by bagging GQ ‘cool’ list slot
Doughty Street Chambers crime specialist Tunde Okewale adds gentlemen’s bible accolade to his 2014 “hottie barrister” position
It wasn’t so long ago that the public perception of barristers was firmly rooted in the Rumpole image — middle aged, white male curmudgeons who enjoyed a good port and were in the fast lane for a dose of the ol’ gout. Miserable buggers they were; sexy they weren’t.
That perception is so yesteryear. These days, barristers are sex on toast with lashings of intellectual cred smeared on top for good measure. Proving the point is Tunde Okewale, a 30-year-old criminal law specialist from that sexiest of all chambers, London’s Doughty Street.
GQ magazine — the bible of male style — has just included Okewale, who was called in 2007, in its 2014 list of the 35 “coolest” men under 38-and-a-half years old.
To be fair, Okewale only sneaks in at number 33, but the magazine describes the barrister as having “celebrity” status within the English legal profession. It allocates him major right-on points for having launched Urban Lawyers, a project jointly run with the pro bono unit at City law firm Hogan Lovells, which aims to make the law more accessible to Britain’s yoof.
But, according to the magazine’s editorial team, the main reason Okewale has cracked this groundbreaking list — sharing the accolade with footballers, actors, film producers, DJs and even celebrity clubbers (who knew such an occupation existed?) — is that he “was named one of the best-looking men in the legal world by infamous industry blog, YourBarristerBoyfriend”.
Yes, those crazy Yanks — Sonia van Gilder Cooke and Natalia Naish — have emblazoned their impact on England’s normally staid legal profession yet again.
Okewale placed second in their 2014 “hottie barrister” list, having reached that near celestial height, according to Cooke and Naish, “because 1) he’s hot, 2) he’s not afraid to interact with us on Twitter. Whilst some barristers remain aloof from The List, Tunde is man enough to show he’s amused”.
Good on ya, Tunde — those few tweets seemed to have translated to bagging the GQ slot as well.
But then what else would one expect from a set that some might view as being more of a catwalk than a barristers’ chambers. Headed by that great antipodean impresario, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Doughty Street has given the world several dreamboat lawyers, not least former Director of Public Prosecutions and now wannabe Labour MP, Keir “The Charmer” Starmer, and Amal Alamuddin, the barrister stunna who recently got hitched to a Hollywood actor.
Some might bemoan an apparent trivialising of a noble profession and those great minds that toil within it by a shallow media obsessed with looks over substance.
To prove Legal Cheek is not in that camp, we highlight GQ star Okewale’s professional credits as promoted by Doughty Street:
“Tunde is a committed defender who has an impressive practice for his level of call. His comprehensive practice comprises of general crime, serious crime and extradition as well as appellate work in the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court. All of Tunde’s work encompasses an element of human rights and commitment to issues of social justice and civil liberties.”
And don’t forget, he ain’t half hot…