White & Case chief invokes Buddhist monk wisdom in wake of Trump election victory

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By Thomas Connelly on

Law firm bosses give first reactions to new President


The chairman of global giant White & Case has taken inspiration from a famous Buddhist monk to bring an air of serenity to the firm as Donald Trump prepares to become the next president of the United States.

In an email sent to all staff, the firm’s head honcho, Hugh Verrier, called upon the wisdom and guidance of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (pictured top). Quoting the peace activist, Verrier said:

The basic thing we can do to help the world is to be healthy, solid, loving, and gentle to ourselves.

Elsewhere in the email, Verrier — who is based at the firm’s New York office, just a stone’s throw from Trump Tower — urged lawyers to “come together” and move “past a long and bitterly fought campaign”. Continuing, he said:

I know the rhetoric of the campaign was divisive and alarming to many of you, and not just in the United States. With that in mind, I want to reiterate our commitment to globalism, multiculturalism and diversity.

Verrier isn’t the first law firm chief to speak out post-election. Penning an article for The Lawyer, Dentons‘ global chairman, Joe Andrew, described Trump’s “unexpected victory” as the “defining conflict of our era”. Stressing “the tension between globalisation and cultural identity”, he continued:

Lawyers are the tradesmen and women of globalization, and our job is to advise clients on how to navigate the rising and falling walls in conducting global business today.

Elsewhere, Charles Martin — who is a senior partner at City firm Macfarlanes — revealed that Trump’s victory could create a “chilling effect on world trade” and pose a “bigger road bump than Brexit.”

Meanwhile, “sexual harassment and assaults at law firms have been amplified” following Trump’s win, according US legal website Above The Law.

Writing on the site, an anonymous female paralegal of “Hispanic descent” reveals that “highly sexual comments” — similar to those made by Trump in the past — which “were once whispered” around her major law firm office, are now spoken in “full voice.” She adds:

Yesterday, an associate took his opportunity as I bent over to retrieve a binder, his hand cupping my rear, his fingers dipping lower in an attempt to touch my most intimate areas. Sensing one of my colleagues approaching, he pulled away, grunting, ‘Next time, I’ll grab you by the pussy, beaner.’

Describing the situation as “absolutely horrifying”, Above the Law is urging victims to report such incidents to their human resource department immediately.