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White Quinn Emanuel partner tells Black colleague to up diversity efforts in firm-wide email

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Lawyers not happy

A London partner at US law firm Quinn Emanuel has reportedly ruffled feathers by sniping at a black colleague’s efforts on diversity.

The unnamed white partner took exception to a shortlist for an arbitration panel circulated by a black counterpart in the US.

According to RollOnFriday, he took to an all-firm email chain to inform 850 Quinn Emanuel lawyers of the “appalling lack of diversity” on the shortlist.

He added that “there are many great women and many ‘less white’ candidates who would profile well against this same white male group”.

In a reply also leaked to the website, the American partner clarified that women were being considered to chair the panel and frostily pointed out that “as a Black attorney in the legal industry, I am keenly aware of the issue”.

An insider reportedly said that the diversity lecture was “unacceptable and shows incredibly poor judgment. It’s a disgrace and lots of people are very angry”.

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In a statement the firm said: “It is true that one of our partners sought firm-wide comments on a shortlist of potential arbitrators, to which another inadvertently caused offence by observing that the list lacked diversity.”

It added:

“The partners in question have spoken and an apology was given for any offence caused. Arising out of that exchange, the two partners have agreed to lead an initiative within the firm to try and ensure that more diverse candidates will be considered for future arbitrator and mediator candidates.”

Earlier this year, Quinn Emanuel ordered its London-based lawyers to stop using “Dear Sirs” in emails, considering the term insensitive. Turns out it’s the contents of the emails they should have been worrying about.

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24 Comments

Legal LOL

Just as well this bloke isn’t being paid mega-bucks for his judgement…

(10)(6)

Wow

Wtf?!

(5)(6)

Anonymous

We live in a world where an obese fentanyl-addled convicted gun criminal who resists arrest and dies of a cardiac arrest in the process is feted as a martyr and questioning the woke narrative is equated with racism. The majority have been silenced, but we are still the majority whatever the liberal media say. This too shall pass.

(6)(6)

Anon

Seriously, why is it that racial and gender diversity are the only two things that are focused on?

There are an infinite number of categorisations that you can make about people. Health, wealth, attractiveness, upbringing, location, personality traits. All of which influence success in the workplace.

(35)(6)

Anon

Is this a serious comment?!

Firstly social mobility (upbringing) is very much in the frame, attractiveness (objective) and personality traits cannot be measured, and location, health and wealth are subject to change.

Gender and race are focused on because they have been directly discriminated against, and you can work with clear data to correct it.

(2)(6)

Anon

Akshullay…

Personality traits can be measured very easily (see the Big Five), for example it’s known that narcissists and sociopaths are over represented in the legal profession (the same kinds of people who are likely to virtue signal, by the way – https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2020-46166-001). Attractiveness is mostly objective (about as objectively as e.g. assessing whether an essay is good or not), so can be measured quite effectively. The location you’re from is to some degree unchangeable because you retain the accent and culture or it. Health is not always subject to change (my allergies will never go away for example). Wealth is inextricably linked to upbringing so is also not necessarily alterable.

I think we should have quotas for 50% introverts 50% extroverts, 0% sociopath (which gets rid of most of the virtue signallers too, yay!!) 50% hot 50% ugly, 50% northern 50% southern. Equity!

(6)(3)

Jones Day Partner

I hate all this diversity stuff going around. No need for it!

Also, are people still down with democracy? I certainly am not hehe #Trump2020

(14)(16)

Anon

Unfunny

(18)(2)

Mustill My Beating Heart

If as a client I found out that my solicitors were considering diversity issues in the selection of arbitrators on my case I would fire them.

(44)(18)

Anonymous

Yes, this should be the headline here. Legal selection is being turned into the casting for a Cbeebies presenter job.

(2)(0)

Barriman

Hilarious. It’s like conkers the way they go after each other – more points for destroying a big hitter.

I’m beginning to see some substantial upsides to wokeism. It keeps all these insecure busybodies fighting with each other, while the rest of us can enjoy the real world.

(25)(8)

Anon

No doubt the partner who tried to be woke was about to share his account of it on LinkedIn to fish for virtue likes. Didn’t quite work out for him.

(13)(6)

Anon

Why couldn’t this have been solved with a private phone call to the London partner, thanking them for caring about the issue but suggesting perhaps a more tactful approach could be used next time?

Outing the stale pale male old guard when they clearly make a good-intentioned (but inevitably ham-fisted) attempt to be allies is only going to stall progress.

At this rate it will be business as usual for another 30 years. Keep the old dogs scared with embarrassing articles like this and I’ll never make it up the ladder before I reach the retirement age.

(10)(4)

Anon

If it wasn’t wokeness and virtue signalling from London, why the need to “reply all”? Replying just to that US partner with something a bit less up his arse along the lines of

It occurs to me that this shortlist could be said to be homogeneous and I was just looking to constructively challenge whether you’d considered alternatives such as x / y who on first blush seem to compare well against z on your shortlist? I’d be interested to understand your thinking here.

(4)(2)

Realist

There are extensive discussions about this topic in the comments under the original Roll on Friday story. If you’re interested in the issues, they may be worth perusing: https://www.rollonfriday.com/news-content/exclusive-quinn-staff-outraged-white-partners-email-black-partner

Arguably, the key point for most of us is that these topics are politically incendiary, and we’re best keeping quiet.

(5)(1)

Ghoorty

Said lots of decent people in 1930s Germany. Don’t be a coward. Do your bit for freedom and sanity.

(2)(8)

Unpleasant but true

Morally, I agree with you. Practically, I need to be able to keep paying my mortgage, and feeding my children. Unfortunately, there’s a conflict between the two. Questioning left-wing politics about race, male/female pay gaps, or whether so-called transgender women are really women, may ruin your life.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

Ghoorty is aspiring to study law at a mid-90s ranked new uni, but he will need better A level results than would be expected from his recent GSCEs performance.

(3)(0)

To white lawyers:

Just shut up and listen rather than trying to tell us what you think you want us to hear.

You might learn something that way.

(7)(13)

Anon

Lumping together an entire racial demographic and then telling it to “shut up” may suggest that you are, in fact, a racist.

(11)(0)

TWL OP

Playing victim, Anon?

(0)(4)

Bored of 'diversity' whinges

#BLMthugs and their ilk are the ones playing victim. Campaigners are unable to take yes for an answer. They have largely won their original fight to provide equality of opportunity for women and non-whites, but the world still doesn’t look how they imagined it. Hence the switch to equality of outcome as a goal and emphasis on invisible force of discrimination that are imagined to block the coming of the promised land.

What if the racism explanation for ongoing disparities is wrong? What if racial educational, economic, professional and incarceration gaps cannot close without addressing personal responsibility and family culture—without a sea change in the attitudes that many inner-city black children bring with them to school regarding studying, paying attention in class, and respecting teachers, for example? What if the breakdown of the family is producing children with too little capacity to control their impulses and defer gratification?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

October is over. It seemed to go on for six weeks this year.

(3)(0)

Disappointed with LC

Closing the comments on the Bar thread already?

Come on! There was some real interesting debate going on there!

(0)(2)

Comments are closed.

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