‘It won’t be long until you’re a kept woman’: Soon-to-be-married barrister goes public with male opponent’s sexist remark

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By Adam Mawardi on

Prompting legal Twitterati to share their sexism stories

Amy Rollings

A soon-to-be-married barrister who hit out at a male opponent after he said it wouldn’t be long until she became a “kept woman” has prompted other female lawyers to share similar experiences of work-related sexism on social media.

Taking to Twitter, Amy Rollings, an employment and personal injury barrister at Nine St John Street Chambers in Manchester, recalls being shocked at a sexist remark made by her male rival during a county court case. After hearing that Rollings is soon-to-be-married, the male barrister is said to have responded: “Well it won’t be long until you are a kept woman and you won’t need to do this.”

Rollings, who went onto win the case, gave this reserved response:

Left baffled by the barrister’s comments, she tweeted in frustration: “It’s so annoying that when this stuff happens to me (not the first time), I am so taken aback, I just respond with politeness rather than anything brilliantly witty.”

Rollings, 31, jokingly continued in her tweets: “I’ve just been killing time all these years until I found a husband!”

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Rollings’ tweet prompted a number of lawyers to share similar encounters of sexism.

Criminal barrister Eleanor Mawrey, of London’s 9 Gough Square, was once told that some female lawyers simply practise law as a “hobby” — taking away cases from their full-time male peers.

According to CrimeGirl, an anonymous barrister, her commitment to her career was called into question while pregnant.

Amy Beddis, a family law barrister at 3 Paper Buildings, recalled a sexist comment she received upon returning from maternity leave.

Rachel Chan, a Kent-based family barrister at 42 Bedford Row, also revealed sexist comments directed towards her stay-at-home husband.

Earlier this year, criminal barrister Joanna Hardy advised her male colleagues not to “act like you’re on a stag-do” or “make repetitive jokes about breasts or skirts” as part of a nine-point action plan to improving the working lives of female barristers.

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