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Charlotte Proudman launches new assault on judiciary while revealing very personal glimpses into her life in the media spotlight

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Barrister interlaces shocking new allegations with fascinating insights into the woman behind the headlines

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Campaigning barrister Charlotte Proudman is back — this time targeting the judiciary with a barrage of accusations, while simultaneously opening up to her growing army of fans to show a previously unseen sensitive side.

In a multi-pronged attack against out-of-touch senior members of the legal profession, the Mansfield Chambers rookie, 27, has made public a complaint about a judge who apparently uses his role as a mentor of law graduates as a way to recruit young mistresses. The unnamed judge’s behaviour is, according to Proudman, symptomatic of a culture of “transactional sex for pupillages” at the bar.

Almost simultaneously — via a wide-ranging interview with The Times over the weekend — Proudman has rounded on three other judges, slamming them as “representatives of the old boys’ club”.

The trio are Supreme Court duo Lord Sumption and Lord Neuberger, and High Court Queen’s Bench Division chief Sir Brian Leveson, who have angered the young family lawyer by opposing her campaign to bring in gender quotas for senior legal profession roles. Proudman thinks the men are representative of “a system infused by sexism”.

Catering to her exploding social media follower base, the young barrister also shared a host of personal insights — most notably about the effect of the media attention she has received since that explosive September 7 tweet. Referring to herself in the third person, the barrister hinted that she regretted how things had worked out, commenting:

It’s been a complete nightmare. No one wants this kind of scrutiny. No one. I would rather be Charlotte Proudman, prior to September 7, than Charlotte Proudman after that date.

This latest blast of publicity came out of the blue, with Proudman, who is currently getting some winter sun in Haiti, having gone quiet of late having seemingly settled down to focus on her work during an academic secondment she is currently doing at Harvard.

But it’s now clear that she has been working hard behind the scenes to continue to leverage her growing fame and cement her position as a key spokesperson for feminist millennials.

The fruits of Proudman’s labour appeared on Saturday when the family law specialist — who shot to fame in September after tweeting a screenshot of a lawyer’s LinkedIn message that she felt was sexist — burst back into the public consciousness with a no holds barred interviewed with The Times‘ Saturday magazine.

The piece included a story told by Proudman about a law student who contacted her last week for advice about dealing with a judge who she had sought out as a potential mentor only for him to try to get her to become his mistress. Proudman reported:

The judge wanted her to be his mistress. She wanted a mentor to guide her through being a law graduate and becoming a lawyer, and that was what she faced instead. There are women who are vulnerable to this kind of pressure. It is a coercive pressure that is put upon them by men in positions of power.

In what could be interpreted as a new strategy to get under the judiciary’s skin Proudman then launched individual attacks against Leveson, Neuberger and old foe Sumption, who she has lampooned previously in the Guardian.

These members of a “narrow, socially unrepresentative elite” — who have all come out publicly against gender quotas recently — are more concerned with shoring up the male patriarchy than creating a judiciary that is able to “meaningfully reflect the public”, suggested Proudman.

Elsewhere in the interview, Proudman shared with her followers a host of highly personal insights into her journey to becoming a lawyer.

These included the revelation that her northern accent left her feeling “unwelcome from the get-go” in a profession where “[a]nywhere past Watford Junction is apparently northern”.

Proudman also told the story of how she changed her surname from Bailye to Proudman when she embarked on her legal studies as a moving tribute to her suffragette grandmother.

Meanwhile, the family law junior repeated two allegations that she has made previously in TV interviews about a solicitor asking her for a bikini photo in exchange for work experience, and a barrister inappropriately rubbing her leg during a mini-pupillage. These incidents were part of a sex-for-pupillages atmosphere in law, Proudman added, but once again declined to name names.

But it was the barrister’s frank admission that she would rather be the person she was before that fateful tweet on 7 September that will surely have Proudman-watchers talking the most.

53 Comments

Lucas

Why, oh, why won’t she just shut up? No one wants to listen to the endless drivel she spouts…

(76)(23)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

I can only assume the downvotes you are receiving come from the feminist trolls CP now cultivates.

Away with you CP et al. We all tire of your attention seeking bollocks.

(28)(19)

Ms Charlotte Proudperson

Because I’m making a blooooody fortoon out of this!

(2)(3)

....

No more….please!

(32)(6)

mdg

Nice airbrushed photo there…

(27)(6)

Anonymous

You could even say it’s stunning…

(24)(3)

Not Amused

I think we need to return to the old code of conduct rules on barristers not talking to the media.

If she wants to be a social commentator she is welcome to. She would be free to attack the judiciary as she sees fit – we might even agree with her.

What I object to is that she has stepped out of the world of the Bar yet retained the pretence that she remains a barrister. She should stop using it. She shouldn’t need to rely on my profession as a prop to her performance – yet her succeed or fail on her own merits. But she can kindly hand back the gown.

(59)(8)

Tulkinghorn

Not Amused, that was never part of the Code of Conduct… it simply said that you couldn’t talk to the media about current ongoing cases. Weird to see nostaligia for a rule that never existed!

(10)(5)

Lethargic Bystander

If you go back far enough in time you will find that talking to the media wasn’t done at all by barristers as it was tantamount to touting.

(5)(2)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

I for one tire of this woman’s attention seeking bollocks.

Remove her from chambers and let her bleat from the home of some extreme lefty organisation, lest any more of her nonsense be perceived to be linked to the legal profession.

Away with you, wench.

(24)(17)

Anonymous

Charlotte Proudman is aiming to be Lord Chief Justice…

Her intellect is unsurpassed as is her judgement.

Charlotte we mere mortals salute you!

(14)(6)

Anonymous

You said “Lord”. Quick, change it to “Lady” before she reads it.

(8)(4)

Anonymous

Stunning picture of Haiti. But what about those poor women suffering in poverty there whilst she sips a pina colada?

(40)(5)

Anonymous

Is she paying Legal Cheek to have regular stories posted about her to keep her profile up?

(26)(4)

Hypocritical

How can she say she would rather be the CP before 7 September, when she is the one writing columns and doing interviews drumming up publicity for herself?!

(24)(4)

Tordenskjold

According to that Times headline she is a solicitor as well. I suppose it was only a matter of time before she became an all encompassing legal ubermensch.

While I agree on stamping out sexism I find her loathsome and irritating. I’m sure she could be doing good work in a much less annoying “look at me!” fashion.

(16)(4)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

She’s not a solicitor according to the law society. Criminal offense to hold yourself out as a solicitor if you’re not. Naughty naughty Ms Proudman…..

(8)(5)

Anonymous

Ok, I’m no fan of this little tigress, but just because she completely overreacted over the LinkedIn compliment and said something crazy about some highly respected Supreme Court justices doesn’t mean we should ignore her completely or laugh at her when she talks about the more serious subject of sexual harassment, which everyone knows DOES happen.

(7)(10)

Guru nana

I think we all have to accept some responsibility for CP.
We created her. We fed her image. We paid lip-service to the semi-religious human rights credo that supports her. We self-flaggelated for sexist sins we never committed because we like to scolded by mummy as if it were a sign of love.
We let ourselves be judged by someone who declared themselves judge and jury because we were too scared to call bullshit on political correctness. Now, this is the result: a new Spanish Inquisition out to get revenge and feed her ego in the name of morality and goodness.
Yes, it’s all very sick, and we made it happen.

(12)(8)

Anonymous

*Yawn*

It’s the same strategy as that employed in the Red Scare, and every such crusading witch-hunt throughout history.

Denounce certain prominent individuals (Neuberger, Sumption and Leveson) as subversives – I mean sexists – whose opinions are a threat to us all.

Make more substantive allegations – a mistress-seeking judge and a leg-rubbing barrister – against anonymous individuals. Obviously, don’t name them and don’t offer any substantive evidence against them. And absolutely do not seek to have your claims tested by an objective, fact-finding tribunal.

Just keep preaching, and keep everyone scared of the Communists – I mean the Patriarchy!

(26)(3)

Anonymous

The women who consent to be the mistresses of senior members of the profession are perfectly happy to go along with this.

Why does Proudman have something against age gaps in relationships? She should stop projecting her own sexual preferences onto others.

(16)(11)

Anonymous

she literally has to pray that being a Jorno works for her now – she will never have the ear of the court …

(16)(3)

Proudboobs

How long before Charlotte applies for a job at Legal Cheek?

(9)(3)

A drunk man looks at a thistle

Gender quotas may be something that people want to see or do not want to see. Regardless, they would likely be – you know – illegal under the Equality Act 2010.

(8)(4)

Anonymous

Oh yes, Charlotte again.

She is now “professionally outraged” and offended.

Keep talking, Talking Head.

(13)(4)

Mr Pineapples

Well done Ms Proudman

You are making the folks on this ere webpage jealous and outraged. So keep up the goodwork. All you have said so far has been worthwhile and true. Someone has to say it.

Nice One

(5)(21)

top judge

You know what she needs?

A good shagging.

#boysclub #everydaysexism #glassceiling

(22)(9)

Alex's missus

She definitely does not need a good snagging. I do. Get off that bloody laptop for once! No wonder I need to get my Thomas filling to make up for your shortcomings.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

I am disappointed but not remotely surprised that you guys have missed the point – the messenger is irrelevant here! The point is, in the 21st Century, that we still have senior members of the bar propositioning young, female (sometimes aspiring,) barristers. That is not acceptable.

No one is saying that every man out there is a creep, or that every judge is a complete tosser, but why not focus on the claims instead of the messenger? It’s a bit like talking about rape – many men make jokes/ignore the issue until it dawns on them that a woman they know has been raped. Yet women shouldn’t have to make such information public for men to understand it.

Yes there’s sexism and bad behaviour at the bar – let’s acknowledge it and get rid of it. Let’s NOT go OTT, crucify the messenger and then miss the message entirely. And for the record, I find what Proudman did (by publicly humiliating Carter-Silk) to be incredibly poor taste and demonstrating bad judgement. This is different.

(15)(11)

Bertie

I don’t think we have missed the point at all. Unfortunately some men, in whatever profession, will use whatever leverage they have to try and seduce women. It has happened forever and I am not surprised that it happens at the Bar too. Woman have a choice to say no. If they feel that their career is being hampered by saying no then there are procedures that can be followed that will give them a chance to have their complaint dealt with. That procedure doesn’t included outing people through the social media. Ms Proudman could have made a complaint against the offending compliment through Chambers. Ms Proudman could have gone to the police and filed a complaint when she was allegedly touched up in the back of a taxi. No one is saying that behaviour is acceptable but in 2015 there are ways in which people who feel they have been discriminated against or criminally assaulted can have their complaints dealt with in a professional manner. Making allegations through the social media, I would suggest, will get you attention of all kinds but it wont deal with the individual issues raised. The more that the issues are dealt with in the “right” way, the more people will learn to modify their behaviour.

(8)(4)

Anonymous

This argument is just like saying if a woman is fired for being pregnant, she should sue! It’s illegal! All of that is true but here’s the reality: most women can’t afford to sue, many are pregnant and therefore don’t want to, and the most important reason: if they are even semi-high profile/work in such an industry, they are likely NEVER to be employed again.

The notion that women, should they be ‘touched up’ or ‘propositioned’ should go to the police is nonsense – they won’t be able to get a career/move up in their careers if they do. Just because there is a mechanism to only semi-solve a problem (which doesn’t really address the issues anyway) doesn’t mean that using it will be good OR that it will produce a good result for anyone, actually.

This is a reality that women have lived with for ages. Men have mothers, sisters, cousins, daughters – they should be ashamed that they allow this to go on.

(5)(5)

Anonymous

I would add also, that the only people who ever advance such an argument (there’s a law against it, so she can sue, obviously!) are those who are either extremely privileged and/or think they’re intelligent – unfortunately it simply demonstrates a lack of living in the real world with the rest of us mere mortals.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

a key skill of a barrister is to carry a message without being involved with it. the recipient of a good barrister’s message puts aside the barrister (or the messenger). Proudman is clearly a poor messenger (barrister). She cannot remove herself from the message.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Why is it not acceptable for an older man to proposition a younger woman?

I wouldn’t mind if an older woman propositioned me.

(13)(3)

Anonymous

Because when she tells him to get lost, she could find that there’s no job, there’s no promotion, or she gets demoted or fired.

I.E – it’s about positions of power.

I mean, MPs voted to keep tampons as a “luxury” item and a report came out today saying that in effect, many women are working for free from mid-November till the end of the year! If men had periods, or if men were put in such a position, there would be a riot. If women suddenly rioted because of this, they’d be castrated as “Bitchy”, “self-serving” etcc…. It’s an outrageous double standard.

(4)(10)

Anonymous

Why don’t you trust people to keep the business and personal sides of their relationships separate? Deep cynicism there.

If a women in a position of power propositioned me, and I didn’t want to get it on with her, I’d have no problem turning her down.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

Of course you wouldn’t – unless she was in charge of giving you a job, helping you get promoted, or even involved in having you fired. You talk a lot of rubbish, mate.

Anonymous

No, you talk rubbish.

I’d trust the woman to keep the personal and professional separate, and would be confident enough in my own abilities regardless.

Genuine workplace bullying is a different matter.

You seem to think that all men with active penises are out to destroy women’s careers.

Comments are closed.