Addleshaw Goddard has sparked a row with its decision to exhibit a photograph of East End gangsters the Kray twins in its offices.
The firm bought a selection of 36 prints by influential 1960s photographer David Bailey, including photos of Michael Caine, Mick Jagger and the Krays.
But the photos have divided opinion among staff, who are questioning whether a law firm is an appropriate setting for photos of notorious criminals.
A member of support staff complained that the Krays had been responsible for the death of someone they knew, but another employee reportedly said the twins were their “greatest heroes”.
Jane Hollinshead, the partner responsible for purchasing new art, said that law firm art should provoke discussion. “The idea is to create things that will make people talk,” she said. “I don’t want it to be corporate.”
The firm also uploaded the images on to its intranet together with background on who David Bailey is and his impact on photography.
Each of the firm’s national offices received a share of the photos. Despite the furore, Hollinshead was adamant that the works were not for sale because they were not intended as an investment.