A trainee’s revenge: Ex-private client solicitor slams the ‘Harrods wife’

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By Katie King on

But the ‘Tesco wife’ doesn’t come out much better


A former private client lawyer has painted a stark picture of what it’s really like dealing with divorce clients, penning a polarising comparison of ‘Harrods wives’ and ‘Tesco wives’ in the national press.

According to Karen Yossman — who trained at boutique London firm Manches, now Penningtons Manches — there are two types of wives out there: the ‘Harrods wife’, and the ‘Tesco wife’. Your view on whether a divorcee should be awarded a hefty slice of her ex-husband’s assets post-break up depends, “as the country’s top divorce lawyers put it”, on which one of these categories you fall into.

If you’re not sure which type of wife you are, or what a Harrods wife even is, lawyer turned freelance writer Yossman (pictured below) is on hand to give you a useful summary.


Having “encountered many a Harrods wife while training as a solicitor”, University of Oxford graduate Yossman is more than happy to take a swipe at these “rarefied” champagne drinking, private jet hopping, Botox fanatics.

In summary, the Harrods wife is:

[M]ore likely to be spotted purchasing a pint of organic goat’s milk in Harrods Food Hall than browsing the bargain bins in Tesco Extra.

In fact, she gets her food delivered from the ultra-luxurious department store to her home twice a week.

Though the Harrods wife doesn’t think she’s extravagant, she “suspects Oyster cards are some sort of seafood platter”, “approaches grooming like a full-time job” and enjoys “multiple, exotic getaways” throughout the year.

And in terms of making a living, well, the Harrods wife might be an underwear designer or a lifestyle guru, but could not possibly have a “proper job”.

Yossman paints quite the picture of the free-spending, high-class Harrods wife, but her antithesis (the Tesco wife) doesn’t come off much better.

Instead of hand-delivered food shops from Harrods, this type of wife buys her weekly staples from Tesco (though, apparently, she still “dutifully” orders her meat and fish from M&S). Sometimes she decants Tesco orange juice into a Waitrose carton to impress houseguests, she drives a “battered Ford Focus”, has “more shades of grey on her head than her bookshelf” and spends so much time in the local Pizza Express the manager greets her by name.

The Tesco wife better keep her fingers crossed her marriage doesn’t run into trouble; she “couldn’t afford to divorce even if she wanted to”, in the words of a former divorce lawyer.

With that in mind, we hope for Yossman’s sake she’s not a Tesco wife. According to her twitter account, a Pokémon Go-induced divorce may well be on the cards for the ex-London lawyer herself.

So based on Yossman’s analysis are you a Harrods or a Tesco wife?