Addleshaw Goddard's Managing Partner has apologised after the firm posted what detractors said was a "tone-deaf" statement about the Black Lives Matter movement.

In its message on LinkedIn, Addleshaw Goddard rejected the familiar corporate promise to 'listen and do better' and instead asserted that it had already got matters of race sorted. "Look around AG and you'll find people from every walk of life", it claimed. "Wherever you are in the world and whoever you are, AG is committed to supporting all our people to be the best they can be". Luckily, "We do not condone racism", it clarified. 

The post continued to look suspiciously like an advert by boasting that Addleshaw Goddard lawyers were "A diverse group of original thinkers, decision makers and negotiators who deliver results".


jam3


Critics accused the firm of piggybacking the outrage at the unjust treatment of black people to advertise its business acumen and diversity credentials.

"Absolutely tone deaf", said a source. "They’ve used the black lives matter protests as a PR opportunity".

That impression was compounded by the inclusion of references to AG's progressive stance on other issues. "We have one thing in common", asserted the post. "A feeling that we're 'in it together' regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation".

"They have conflated race, gender, sexuality in a way they wouldn’t have done for the #metoo movement", said a source. "I don’t know why they’ve presented themselves as a shining beacon of hope among all this. There is a problem across the City (and the world) and it wouldn’t have been a scandal to admit it. Even if it were, that’s the point! You can’t escape your privilege without getting uncomfortable".

Discomfort has now been achieved. Apologising for the work of whichever marketing bod got stuck in commercial awareness mode, John Joyce, Managing Partner, said, "We recognise that we made mistakes in the message we posted and are really sorry that we have caused upset. We know we have a long way to go and are determined to do all we can to improve, including listening to what people have said to us and learning from our errors. We are really grateful for people having taken the time to help us identify how and where we went wrong."


BLM

 


Last week Freshfields came under fire after its Senior Partner pledged allegiance to 'Blacks', which also resulted in apologies.

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Comments

Gobblepig 12 June 20 09:09

So basically, no matter what you do you've got it wrong. If you keep silent, you're a racist. If you apologise, you're a racist. If you try to take pride in your egalitarian achievements, you're a racist. 

This isn't really about achieving equality of opportunity - it's just about being angry. That's pointless and counter-productive. 

Anonymous 12 June 20 09:21

But this isn’t AG taking pride in egalitarian achievements. It’s jumping on an awful incident to garner publicity for new instructions and bang on about how your team ‘gets results’. It’s utterly idiotic. 

Anonymous 12 June 20 09:26

You’re not wrong ‘no matter what you do’. Just use common sense. Stay quiet or show a bit of humility, that’s all.
You call it ‘taking pride in egalitarian achievements’, I call it advertising the brand.
Perhaps AG is genuinely progressive in this area, but using widespread anger about structural racism to push out marketing waffle is clueless at best. 

Anonymous 12 June 20 09:32

It's simple and easy:

Donate to the official BLM causes; state your support for the movement; and explain how you intend to educate yourselves about BLM. 

Instead many firms use this as a marketing ploy.

Gobblepig 12 June 20 09:35

@the two Anonymi. That's RollonFriday's editorial take on AG's post; read the post and think for yourselves. 

And before you say it, I have no connection whatsoever to AG and think they're a sub-par firm, but they clearly take pride in their efforts towards egalitarianism and should be allowed to express that. 

Gobblepig 12 June 20 09:41

@9:32 Anonymous - in the UK, BLM's aims include de-funding the police, dismantling capitalism and bringing down "racist" institutions such as the NHS. And, of course, the various cancel-culture acts of vandalism currently going on. Why is it necessary to support this organisation in order to show you're not a racist?

Grace1 12 June 20 09:58

Gobblepig, it also seems to be AG's take once the bosses saw what marketing had done after people complained.

Oh what? 12 June 20 10:05

It’s seems there’s a generation determined to seek out and find offence in anything and it’s destroying any good effort people genuinely make to tackle any inequality. It’s dividing people and creating alt left and alt right. And how is AG any different from other brands shilling for the latest bandwagon? Why pick on them in particular? 

Anonymous 12 June 20 10:13

Yeah, those snowflakes are so sensitive. People have been fine for 100s of years with black folk being treated differently. They should man up and get over it. 

Mhm? 12 June 20 10:57

@09:41

Slightly concerned for your well-being if you have nothing better to do before 5am than race to comment on the latest RoF articles.

Donation 12 June 20 11:27

I'm going to donate to the Berrymans Lace Mawer (BLM) cause. Have you seen their PEP figures recently? Ouch. 

Anon 12 June 20 12:05

If you think AG are a bunch of hopeless racists then by all means take issue with their Tweet. But if not, and they are one of those that get these difficult issues right, then why shouldn't they say so? 

It does seem increasingly difficult to do anything that isn't considered offensive. Get it wrong, you're a racist. Say nothing, you're complicit. Get it right and say so, you're a tone-deaf opportunist. 

The only acceptable approach, seemingly, is to be a paragon of virtue but not tell a soul.

Anonymous 12 June 20 12:16

You can tell a soul. By all means. Tell everyone. But perhaps just not when a lot of black people are telling us (as overwhelmingly white institutions) to acknowledge that we have issues around race. That, I would argue, is one of the times it is absolutely not right to say how great you are. Feels a bit #notallfirms, no?

Anonymous 12 June 20 12:18

@ Mhm? 12 June 20 10:57

Rise at 5am. Shit, shower and shave. Have a quick look at above the law and ROF while on the toilet. Then on with my day. 

Gobblepig 12 June 20 14:40

In that case, NYC anonymuppet, perhaps you need, in your own words, to educate yourself about organisations in other jurisdictions that you seem blithely happy to advocate support for while having your weird early-morning e-mail-while-pinching-one-off session.

Anonymous 12 June 20 15:42

@ Gobblepig 12 June 20 14:40

In NYC the BLM movement is everywhere. You probably live outside of London or Bristol where it seems are the hubs for the smaller movement on that side of the pond. As for getting up at 5am; that's normal in the city that never sleeps. 

Anon 12 June 20 15:56

Oh god not another week of the same old comments and arguments.   If you’re white, nothing you say matters.  If you agree with BLM you’re patronising and can’t understand it.  If you say you don’t like racism but make the point that not all white people are racist you’re being racist.  If you say that most black people in the world are killed by other black people you’re racist.  If you say that you don’t like mob rule and public buildings being ripped down without due process and the rule of law you’re racist.  If you say all lives matter you’re racist.  If you question anything or don’t totally cave in to all the BLM’s points in every way you’re racist.   

Anonymous 12 June 20 16:04

These comments are shocking 

 

AG got it wrong, their post didn’t demonstrate any understanding of the current issues. And they are rightly called up on it.

Employers can get this right by acknowledging they will invest in this and become more progressive by becoming anti racist

there are a few people who have commented that have clearly have a racist mindset (which doesn’t mean you’re a signed up member of the BNP)  and rather than inflict their anger that firms are damned if they do or not etc Should go and educate themselves on how to become anti racist.  Racism is an issue across the UK and for too long it’s not been acknowledged and this is what BAME people are asking, they want equality.  If you find that offensive, which some here seem to, you are racist.  
 

Gobblepig 12 June 20 16:06

What was that - your mid-morning "e-mail-while-squeezing-out-the-remains-of-yesterday's-pastrami" sesh?

And no, sorry, I live in London. Good guess, though.

Anonymous 12 June 20 16:13

To Anon 12 June 20 15:56

 

Your whole response is terrifying.  "If you’re white, nothing you say matters. "  Are you kidding me?!  White people have dominated this conversation for centuries and you're angry because people are challenging you 

White people can have a civil conversation about race and the current issues by demonstrating empathy and understanding and by LISTENING to what the Black perspective is.

Have you ever reflected what it is like for a person of colour to live in this country or the US.  The baggage we have to deal with.  On first meeting people being immediately asked "where are you from?"  you answer London, oh i meant where are you really from.....  One tiny example of every day racism

The documented difference in pay, Black women being paid the least for doing the same job

Unless you are actively working to be anti racist you are racist !!!  So instead of moaning do something about it and educate yourself

 

Anon 12 June 20 16:16

“Racism is an issue across the UK”

Please provide empirical and objective evidence and data for this hugely broad brush statement.  

Anonymous 12 June 20 16:48

All very well 'staying quiet' but we're helpfully now told that "Silence = Violence".  So, we're all expected to say something.  But we just need to make sure that we "Educate ourselves!" before doing so ...as that creepily authoritarian saying goes.

It's truly terrifying to hear the accounts of public figures, youth orientated influencers in particular, and organisations being sought out for not saying anything, and then bullied into saying the 'right' thing.  Not that it ever satisfies the mob.

Lip Service 12 June 20 17:05

AG, along with all the other law firms jumping on the BLM bandwagon, need to publish the following stats:

1. What overall percentage of Partners (Equity) who identify as Black are on the books;

2. What overall percentage of Solicitors (and trained at the Firm) who identify as Black are on the books; 

3. What overall percentage of Trainee Solicitors who identify as Black are on the books; and

4. What overall percentage of Trainee Solicitor applications from candidates who identified as Black were rejected over the past 10 years.

 

Everyone wanna be gangsta until they choose Bethany over Babatunde.

 

Anonymous 12 June 20 17:07

This coming from a firm that doesn't have an embedded BAME network in 2020 and then replaces their tone-deaf response with another which the WWE use; Then-Now-Forever. That's World Wrestling Entertainment. Let that sink in a moment.

The words from the Managing Partner ring hollow.

BLM 12 June 20 17:12

"BLM's aims include de-funding the police, dismantling capitalism and bringing down "racist" institutions such as the NHS. And, of course, the various cancel-culture acts of vandalism currently going on."

I thought BLM aimed to be the UK's insurance law firm.

I'm so confused!

Anonymous 12 June 20 17:22

@ gobblepig 

Settle down with your aggro - you're arguing more than your 5 year old daughter. 

Anonymous 12 June 20 22:27

"Please provide empirical and objective evidence and data for this hugely broad brush statement."

 

Looks like Me Evidence has turned his attention from sexual assault of women to racism. There's a shock.

Enough virtue signalling 13 June 20 05:05

Racism and injustice exists everywhere but it is not just white on black. The worse examples of racism are found in parts of Africa where you can get hacked to pieces if you are from the wrong tribe (as happened to a million Tutsis in Rwanda). Or India, where you are forever condemned to a life of servitude and blocked from some jobs because you happen to be born into the wrong caste. Or Malaysia, where institutional laws and regulations prejudice the Chinese and Indian minorities compared to indigenous Malays. Or China, where muslims are put into “re-education” camps. Or Myanmar, where you may get shot by the army if your grandfather was an immigrant . Or the Middle East, where Philippines and Indian migrants have no rights. Or Saudi Arabia, where Christians cannot build a church or even worship. 
 

As I watched the video online of four masked but clearly white BLM “protesters” battering a black cop who was alone and defenceless, I reflected about what BLM are really about. Same when I saw them vandalising Abraham Lincoln’s statue (dont they even know history?). 
 

If you don’t go along with the cult, they will scream and threaten you are of course “racist”. Where are the memorials and outrage for the two black cops gunned down and killed in the riots? Do black lives only matter if a white person is involved? What about the ten black men murdered in Chicago every day on average by other black men? Every time there is an interaction between a white cop and a black man, is it always racism? Are you sure? Did you know proportionately more unarmed white men get killed than black men by cops?

Can we have a debate about these things without you stoking the fires of racism and division? 
 

And don’t shriek white privilege. I am mixed race. 

 

 

Unencumbered maestro 13 June 20 11:50

https://youtu.be/7XLlG1SfKj8
An interesting insight.
'oh it was a different time'
Yeah, so was Churchills.

Thoughts 14 June 20 10:01

Let's be clear. There's a very good reason why the majority of these firms either "get it wrong" or do nothing at all.

If any firm decided to meet the demands of BLM - to relentlessly apologise for their "white privilege", to invest heavily into BLM causes, and to hire employees not on the basis of their credentials, but the colour of their skin - its clients would think they'd gone mad and leave. And they'd be right.

We're lawyers, and we work for law firms. We are NOT politicians or social engineers 

Normal everyday person 14 June 20 10:11

To 16.13pm on 12 June : ‘Unless you are actively working to be anti racist you are racist !!!‘
 

Er, no!!! I am not homophobic but I do not actively work to be anti-homophobic. Using your logic I am therefore, in fact, homophobic. You are wrong. You are also part of the reason why so many white people who are in fact not racist get pee’d off with the group - whoever that may be - who continue to insist that we all (or the majority) are. 
 

I am a Partner in a law firm I am can assure you I will employ anyone who can contribute and make money  - white, black, green or from the moon. I don’t give a crap, just help make my business a success. I am sorry I don’t actively work to be anti-racist -  I had assumed that not being racist was enough but clearly it isn’t. I find that sad  

 

Busy 14 June 20 22:04

Between my caseload, my trainees, and my children, I have approximately three minutes each day to myself - and I use this time to shit in (relative) peace. Where on earth am I going to find the time to be actively anti-racist?

Why is it no longer acceptable to just not be racist? My kids and ex-wife already hate me for not being around. This is just another thing for normal people to worry about. Meanwhile, actual racists won't even blink.

Before anybody pipes up - I am currently shitting. Yes, I've used today's three minutes writing this.

Back to settling meaningless disputes between my three and five-year-olds I go.

FML.

Anon 15 June 20 03:22

I abhor racism but I also abhor the BLM movement. They sow division and race bait. They are essentially a political movement. Their policies include abolishing the police and “overthrowing capitalism”. I have been listening to one of their spokesmen on the LBC show - he says Churchill “supported Hitler” and was okay with the statue being defaced. Same for the cenotaph. When asked about crime exploding if the police are abolished, he says the police “cause crime” and if they did not exist, there would be none. He was verging on deranged and had nothing but hate for people other than those in his own race. He finished up by saying he supported violent revolution if the movement could not achieve its aims. 
 

Don’t let them hijack the good intentions of those who want to see improved harmony - their agenda is quite different.

NAV 15 June 20 04:29

I am a black lawyer. I do not consider myself a victim or less capable than my counterparts so please do not think, law firms,  that you need to lower your standards for me to progress or give me special treatment. That is patronising and it undermines all the success and achievements of black professionals. There are clearly racist people in the world and in law. Because law firms recruit from the human race. It is not just white on black. All races tend to have some fear of others and comfort in their own groups. This is fixed through education and understanding, not shrieking “black lives matter” when a career criminal (who has been in prison 5 times and who stuck a gun into the ribs of a pregnant woman as she is robbed) is killed in another country. Everyone has condemned his killing and we should be grateful for that, but he is neither a role model to my community nor a martyr, so lets not make him that. To do so just creates more division and hate and sends the wrong message to our kids. BLM do not speak for me. I do not blame all my white friends and colleagues for mistakes made in history (and all societies have made mistakes, not just “whites”), and not try and make them feel guilty. Neither do I agree with their quasi Marxist ideology. 
 

The silent majority need to speak up. 

Other view 15 June 20 06:31

The site of the police first kneeling in front of and then running away from the BLM “protestors” and the vandalism of the war memorial and Churchill statute , egged on by and even supported by parts of the media and the establishment, was inflammatory and enraged many Britons who are not at all racist. But those who speak out are labelled and vilified as “racist” or “far right”. This has to stop, it is dividing society and causing mistrust and fear. Protesting police brutality in another country seems to have morphed into a hard left attack on the UKs history.
 

Law firms should not in my view express support for Black Lives Matter unless they also support the aims of Black Lives Matter as an organisation (which include the overthrow of capitalism - if you don’t believe that then you need to learn more about them). Support equality and fairness and opportunity for all races and creeds and religions. Please do not support a hateful, aggressive, Marxist rabble rousing mob.

CLM? 15 June 20 09:27

I am a Chinese lawyer. Does my life matter? I know we are not allowed to say “white lives matter too” as that would be rayyycist. What about “Asian lives matter”. Is that ok?

Anonymous 16 June 20 10:09

It's illuminating to see that the ranks of lawyers are no more enlightened than avid readers of the Sun. Try understanding (including researching) your subject matter before commenting (just as you might review a file before giving advice to a client).

Anonymous 16 June 20 10:39

Anonymous @ 1009, I suspect from your patronising and condescending dismissal of millions who read a popular newspaper that you are likely a Guardian reader. Which of course makes you morally superior. 

Anonymous 16 June 20 11:45

[email protected]:39, I am a voracious reader of all newspapers. The Sun is a tabloid newspaper - you don't look in it for well-informed, well-researched and comprehensive information (though it's pretty good for sport and any other subject-matter not requiring in-depth study). That was the point being made, which was pretty obvious from the context. Now let's get back to the real issue, which is do your homework before spouting!

Anon 16 June 20 14:46

Yes Anon @1145, you need to read the Guardian for your balanced well researched well informed in depth and morally superior ideology.  The Sun is for us plebs and Northerners, we just want stories about the footie. We wish we we smart and enlightened like you. Please take pity on us. You are such a special and smart luvvie. Brave too.

Clueless 16 June 20 17:49

@CLM

Yes, Chinese Lives Matter. Also, Asian Lives Matter.

ROF, the people have spoken. Add the above under Client Matters Matter.

Anon 16 June 20 19:57

@CLM all lives do matter.
 

The BLM movement isn’t saying that other lives don’t matter. To suggest anything different merely shows your unwillingness to listen and learn. What the movement is highlighting is that some lives matter less than others. George Floyd is dead. If his life mattered then Derek Chauvin, and others who feel that it’s okay to treat someone differently based on skin colour, would not have felt comfortable behaving the way he did. Perhaps you might have more empathy for Fong Lee, another life that didn’t matter. 

Another normal everyday person 17 June 20 14:24

Who has time to be actively anti-racist? And how does one do that anyway? What does that mean?

I am not racist. I just wish I knew how to show that is the case. Comments and suggestions invited. 

Idea 17 June 20 20:58

I thought about introducing myself as: 'Hello I'm Tom and I'm not a racist', but that's as bad as saying: 'Hello I'm Tom and I'm definitely not a serial killer - you can take my word for it. There's never been any proof and those arrests weren't in any connected to the lady they dug up from my garden.'

 

All lives 18 June 20 05:24

According to the Washington Post’s stats, in 2019, 9 unarmed black men were killed by police in USA In some of these cases, the policeman involved was also black, in some white or Asian. Over the same period, 9,200 black men were murdered in USA, 7,600 of them by other black men. So shouldn’t black lives matter shift their focus somewhat?

The latest unrest is in Atlanta and I just saw an interview on CNN where it was alleged the Atlanta police were institutionally racist. In Atlanta, the Mayor, the governor and the head of police are all black as are the majority of the police force.

The divisive race baiting from the left has to be challenged as it is damaging society.

 

Anon 18 June 20 22:45

@ All lives - what a pile of absolute steaming crock shit. 

The first point that you seem to be making is that based on statistics from the Washington Post, BLM should focus more on violence within the African-American community rather than police brutality and institutional racism that exists at every level in American society. Putting to one side whether you even bothered to fact check the statistics (because you couldn't even be bothered to provide a link) have you ever considered why disproportionate levels of crime exist within the African-American community? Here is a link to an article on Wikipedia that you should read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_stereotype_of_African_Americans

The second point in your post is factually wrong and devoid of any logic that it does not deserve a response, but I'll respond anyway: 

- The Mayor of Atlanta is Keisha Lance Bottoms, she is African-American. Here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keisha_Lance_Bottoms

- The Governor of Georgia (Atlanta does not have a Governor because it is a City not a State) is Brian Kemp, he is White-American. Here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Kemp

- The Head of Police in Atlanta was until last week Erika Shields, she is White-American. Here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erika_Shields. Erika Shields resigned from her position as Head of Police following the shooting of an unarmed African-American by a White police officer. The White police officer has been charged with murder. Here is a link: https://www.cbsnews.com/video/former-atlanta-police-officer-charged-in-rayshard-brooks-shooting

- The Atlanta Police Department is 58% African-American, 37% White-American, 4% Hispanic, 1% Asian. Here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Police_Department#Demographics. Not much of a majority tbh.

Your final point seems to be pushing some sort of Tiger-King level conspiracy theory that the Press Association is operating with an ulterior motive and is trying to start a race-war by objectively reporting on current events around the world. I don't know where to begin but it's late and a school a night so I think I'll go to bed. 

 

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