Bar Council chief and Dechert’s Miriam González-Durántez latest to back Proudman feminist movement

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By Alex Aldridge on

LinkedIn row barrister now has support of Nick Clegg’s City lawyer wife and a less enthusiastic Alistair MacDonald QC


With her job as legal profession sexism whistleblower completed, Britain’s new most famous junior barrister Charlotte Proudman has turned her attention to resolving gender inequality in the film industry.

Yet the 27 year-old Mansfield Chambers rookie’s cataclysmic effect on the legal profession continues to be felt, with two top lawyers coming out over the weekend to pledge their support for Proudman.

Dechert partner Miriam González-Durántez, who is perhaps most famous for being the wife of ex-Deputy PM Nick Clegg, went first

The EU law specialist told the Mail on Sunday that Proudman had been “quite right” to slam Alexander Carter-Silk after he complimented her for having a “stunning” LinkedIn profile photo. González-Durántez added that if the roles were reversed, and she complimented a man on his looks, it would be really weird, explaining:

It is as if I would walk into a boardroom and say to the chairman, ‘You look delightful.’ It wouldn’t be appropriate — I wouldn’t do it.

Hours later, with Proudman’s latest movie-free weekend drawing to a close, Bar Council chairman Alistair MacDonald QC chipped in with his backing for the family law junior — announcing in the letter’s page of The Guardian:

Charlotte Proudman is right to highlight the challenges many women in the legal profession continue to face.

Read on, however, and you get the impression that MacDonald’s affection for Proudman is limited.

Highlighting a piece last week by Proudman in her new Guardian columnist guise which claimed that MacDonald described sexist behaviour as “banter”, the Bar Council boss writes:

This is simply and plainly wrong. While the term ‘banter’ appears in the body of the report itself, nowhere do I, nor would I ever, use such a term to belittle inappropriate behaviour. In my foreword to our Snapshot report, I said that we must ‘support and encourage women to remain at the Bar and become the QCs and judges of the future’. Claims such as this misrepresent the true position and detract from the important work of those proactively tackling the challenges faced by many women at the bar and in the wider legal profession.

Ouch. Legal Cheek will be closely monitoring Proudman’s Twitter feed — which, for the record, features a new profile photo — for a response.