Boss of top legal aid firm vows to never instruct LinkedIn message barrister Charlotte Proudman again

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By Alex Aldridge on

“It’s not for exposing sexism … it’s for publishing private stuff,” says Tuckers senior partner Franklin Sinclair


The “sexist” LinkedIn message row just got real as the head of one of the UK’s biggest legal aid firms vowed to send “no more briefs” to Charlotte Proudman.

For those returning from desert islands, Proudman is the young legal aid barrister who on Monday tweeted a screenshot of a private LinkedIn message from senior solicitor Alexander Carter-Silk which described her profile photo as “stunning”.

This move by the 27 year-old — who practices family law from Mansfield Chambers — has split the profession, as evidenced by the 160 plus comments posted on Legal Cheek‘s report of the news. Some admire her chutzpah, while others have questioned her judgement.

But until late yesterday afternoon no one from the law firms who instruct legal aid barristers had come out publicly to express a view on the matter. That changed at half past five when Franklin Sinclair, the outspoken boss of Tuckers, blasted off this tweet in which he pledged “Nomorebriefs4u”:

Minutes later Proudman hit back with this two-pronged defence:

Sinclair responded by bringing Proudman’s head of chambers, Michael Mansfield, into it, before arguing that Carter-Silk’s message wasn’t sexist and wondering out loud how someone who has published private correspondence can be trusted.

Sinclair is a controversial figure, whose utterances — often made through his Twitter account — regularly wind up his fellow lawyers. Previous classics include it’s “not my job 2 care about justice”. But his point about publishing private correspondence may strike a chord with many instructing solicitors.

In statements given to the national media after the story of her tweet went viral, Proudman has argued that her decision to make public the message was justified because of the wider problem of sexual harassment in the legal profession.

Meanwhile, Carter-Silk, 57, is laying low, with no word from him or his law firm, Brown Rudnick, since it issued a short statement yesterday admitting that it had “apologised for the offence caused”.

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