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Exclusive: Travers Smith tells vacation scheme students to black up
10 February 2017
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An employee's oversight resulted in Travers Smith suggesting to its vacation scheme students that they black up for its Christmas party.

When Travers picked a London Underground theme for its Christmas party last year, a member of staff emailed vacation scheme students with "top tips" for their fancy dress costumes. Unfortunately they lifted the costume ideas from a fancy dress website, www.props-n-frocks.co.uk, which appears to have been run by Bernard Manning and last updated in 1972. The 'top tips' emailed to vac schemers included, "Victoria – Queen Victorian costume”, “West Ham - West Ham football kit”, and , er, “Blackfriars - just paint your face black”.

    In fact there are a few questionable suggestions on props-n-frocks' website 

When horrified colleagues became aware of what had been sent, the matter was escalated to Managing Partner David Patient. He personally wrote to the email recipients to "express deep regret over the miscommunication" and to "state that it categorically does not represent our firm-wide position and views". He also assured them that he would deal with the incident personally. 


  Three RollOnFriday costume ideas and one unacceptable one*

When RollOnFriday approached the firm it held up its hands. Patient said, "Unfortunately this was something which regrettably did happen. As you know some of the language used in the email is not a true reflection of our culture, values and ways of working which is why we took it very seriously and dealt with it immediately".
 
He said, "As a firm we are committed to creating a truly diverse, inclusive and safe environment for all Travers Smith members of staff". Evidence from the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2017 survey suggests that Patient is right, Travers placed 7th out of 66 firms, with lawyers saying it was a "progressive" firm that makes "visible" diversity efforts. Which hopefully won't be undone by one email encouraging vac schemers to dress as the Britannia Coco-nut Dancers of Bacup.

*Canary Worf, King Crustacean, a black friar and Barrons courting, as if you needed the help.

Comments

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Please keep it nice. Thanks.

anonymous user
10/02/2017 08:45
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"horrified"
anonymous user
10/02/2017 10:01
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I like the suggestion that you take a shitload of weapons to a party
anonymous user
10/02/2017 10:59
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My wife once dressed as Canary Wharf on the same lines as that picture - a mask of Worf being the key point. Nobody at the party recognised Worf! What were they doing during early evenings in the 90s?
anonymous user
10/02/2017 13:18
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Kudos for holding his hands up for this one ... other organisations would be banging on about "counselling", "training" etc - he just admitted it.
anonymous user
10/02/2017 17:56
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Canary wharf... King Prawn...Black Friars... massive blue merkins? Posh DP time? WTF is that bottom left one meant to be?
anonymous user
11/02/2017 20:57
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Heh. Whoops!!!
anonymous user
11/02/2017 22:49
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Really don't get the problem with this. If it had said "Green Park - paint your face green" would anyone have cared?
Black is a colour, and to dress up a it you would paint your face black. It's not dressing up as a black person (and I don't even get the problem with that).
anonymous user
12/02/2017 04:16
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i really cant get the bottom left one.
anonymous user
13/02/2017 11:42
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The bottom left one is two men with Barron Trump's face seducing a woman - ie courting. Barrons Court. In reality it would require the woman to wear a pole attaching two inflatable figures with Barron Trump's face attached to them. Quite an effort for such a left-field costume
anonymous user
14/02/2017 10:14
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Anon @ 22.49. What is wrong with you?
  

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