Categories:West Midlands

Shoosmiths lawyer deemed offensive

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  • As a Guardianista, I thought the Guardian comment was a funny one, but it was always going to backfire. What made me wince (literally) was the "under 50" comment. Surely a lawyer knows that it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age! I bet the firm's Employment Team ducked for cover at that one.
    In general terms though, making jokes alluding to stereotypes and political correctness in a sector where political correctness is prevalent does not smack of a well thought out PR strategy, particularly as the comments were made in a puff piece PR article. D'oh!

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  • they can always rely on the old tactic of forcing the next round of trainees to defer without any payment - this should save the fees they will no doubt loose.

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  • And to think Mr Ballard lists employmeny law as one of his specialisms on the Law Society website! Ouch. Surely he saw this one coming?

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  • Quote Catrin Griffiths
    "I suppose if you look hard enough you can take offence anywhere; this is just about understandable if you’re a passionate believer in a particular cause, but it takes a special sort of joylessness to unearth offence over this sort of remark. "
    Enough said you joyless humorless pompous bunch.

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  • I thought the comments were particularly horrid given the recent waive of redundancies at shoosmiths...

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  • A bit of a generalisation that only Guardian readers under fifty have any interest in social housing. A friend of mine is a manager of a social housing authority, he reads the Daily Mirror and it doesn't seem to affect his performance.

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  • I wonder what Tom Goff has to say about this article!

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  • Well, it's good to see lawyers' senses of humour are as sharp as ever. I think he was joking, kids - you know? A joke?

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  • speaking as a 50 year old recently redundant lawyer looking for a job I don't think it was a joke but that it shows that age discrimination is still practised by even the largest law firms despite it being illegal

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  • As someone on the wrong side of 50, I find Mr Ballard's comments regardless of it being in jest offensive.
    Shoosmiths silence on Mr Ballard's discriminative comment has demonstrated its lack of total commitment to equal opportunities.
    Surely someone of my age would think twice before applying for any position at Shoosmiths.

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  • Andy Ballard aka Anton du Beke!!

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  • Shoosmiths states in its our culture and corporate responsibility sections of its website, "we have zero tolerance for arrogance.....". "......actively promote equality of opportunity."

    Will Shoosmiths' senior management take a zero tolerance to Mr Ballard's comments which is both unlawful and disrespectful to colleagues and clients.

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  • You humourless, sad people!

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  • What a sad world we live in that someone who is clearly over 50 can't poke fun at a sterotype...I thought lawyers were supposed to be intellegent and enjoy satire...

    There are more important and appropriate things to be offended by...please get a life.

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  • I am sure Mr Goff could offer to support him in more practical ways during the fall out from this!

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  • Well there is poking fun at a stereotyoe and then there is denigrating a profitable client group. Good work...

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  • As Ballard looks well over 50 himself surely he is doing himself out of a job?

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  • If only other Lawyers were like Andy the profession would be a better place. Get a grip fellow lawyers the guy was having a laugh. It never fails to amaze me what people find to rubbish big hitters. Before you say it, I work for a competitor and guys like Andy will always be welcome. Wake up and smell the coffee

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  • "...the guy was having a laugh."
    How many times has an Employment Tribunal heard that excuse?
    Surely any comment (joke or not) that is of a discriminative nature is wholly unacceptable.
    Mr Ballard's comment has clearly caused offence to some in the profession and to at least one of his clients. Great way to lose your standing and clients.

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  • "....guys like Andy will always be welcome."
    Political correctness gone made postie, must note from the article and the comments posted that Mr Ballard will not be welcome by some of his colleagues and clients.
    Are the supporting comments posted from Shoosmiths "deferred" (without payment) trainees?! Surely Mr Goff and his crew have not been drafted in to defend the indefensible!! Pure PR disaster.

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