Barrister Hottie website defies critics to rank female barristers
14 August 2013 | By Becky Waller-Davies
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The website which shot to fame last month with its ranking of the hottest male barristers in London now contains listings of the most attractive women at the bar.
The new ranking, which appeared today on the Tumblr account hosting the listings, is entitled ‘The 21 Hottest Barristers in London: The Women.’
The creators of the site, the so-called ‘Barrister Hottie Experts’, told The Lawyer last month that they were planning to launch a female equivalent of the male rankings despite the former having more controversial associations (24 July 2013).
On the Tumblr account the pair, journalist Sonia Van Gilder Cooke and art historian Natalia Naish, both of whom are Americans living in London, defend their choice to rank female barristers. They state: “After the enthusiastic response to our debut Male Barrister Hottie list, we thought long and hard about what to do next. The answer seemed clear. Avoiding women would just be too easy - and perhaps even sexist.”
The pair, who revealed their identities today, continued: “We had some reservations. Because women are still judged on their appearance on a daily basis, they don’t particularly need anything else to remind them of our lookist society. Or so the argument goes. But we don’t like the idea that women barristers, unlike men, are not powerful enough to withstand a hottie list.”
Ranked number one is Amal Alamuddin of Doughty Street Chambers. According to the site, she “achieves the seemingly unattainable ideal of contemporary femininity: she is both breathtakingly beautiful and formidably successful.”
The “pale skin, auburn hair and icy expression” of Sri Carmichael from Hardwicke Chambers leads to a comparison with “a majestic Celtic warrior or a princess in an Icelandic Saga, with a name like Frigg or Sinthgunt. We envision her in a desolate landscape, intimidating her barbarian enemies with her beauty, a spear, and an army of besotted men willing to die for her.”
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner Karyl Nairn QC makes the list, despite not being an English barrister. Nairn told The Lawyer: “It is obviously the pinnacle of my career. All those years of study and hard work have finally paid off.”
Nairn, who acted for Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich on his court battle with Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky last year (28 January 2013), was appointed silk in this year’s QC round (27 February 2013).
Fountain Court’s Marianne Butler, named at number two on the list, said: “I think it is amusing and flattering - who doesn’t like a compliment? The authors are very witty women, who are obviously just having a bit of fun. Life is too short (and our jobs far too serious) not to laugh at this kind of thing.”
Also listed is Justine Thornton of 39 Essex Street. The pair admit: “We decided to give Justine a place on the list for one simple reason: she has to listen to Ed Miliband’s adenoidal patter every day.”
Several barristers to have featured in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 lists of legal stars are named in today’s Hot List, including Doughty Street Chambers’ Nichola Higgins, Nairn, and Blackstone Chambers’ Dinah Rose QC. Click here for a video interview with Higgins, in which she talks about her practice at the criminal bar.