A male Addleshaw Goddard partner delivered a “tone deaf speech” at the Real Estate Burns Night dinner in front of key clients, a source has told RollOnFriday.

During the event, hosted at Ely Palace crypt earlier this month, the male partner made a "Toast to the Lassies" as part of the Burns Night tradition, with an AG female partner delivering the traditional "Reply from the Lassies".

However, a source told RollOnFriday that the male partner said in his toast that there should be no glass ceilings and that they should be “made of concrete” instead to stop women progressing. 

The comment went down so badly that a key female client stood up and heckled before leaving the event, the source said, adding “it was all anyone could talk about after”.

However, the firm has denied this. An Addleshaw Goddard spokeswoman said: "Those familiar with the Burns Night tradition will understand that the address is based on a specific kind of humour and that is what was intended here. What is reported to have been said is inaccurate and would not in any event be the view of the speaker or of the firm."

This is not the first legal brouhaha over Burns Night, which may be apt, given that the poet wrote of his disdain for lawyers

And one reader reminded ROF: "If you're going to make a spectacle of yourself at a Burns Night, at least do it in style like John Young did at Hogan Lovells - come in on a zip line in full tartan battle dress, address the haggis and whip a dagger out of your sock to do so. Go large or go home".

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Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 24 February 23 09:38

Top tip.  If you don't want to give people the impression that you're a cretinous dinosaur, maybe try not gathering people together to hear you say cretinous, dinosuary things.

Schmegal 24 February 23 09:58

Harsh as it is clearly a joke. Not a great one but a shame that people dont get irony. All being said, context is everything. You had to be there....

Anonymous 24 February 23 10:00

Aye cannae un'astan fuh wai RoF didnae writ this arteecle in traydee'tnal Scottish.

Tis how wee spaek North of tae wee border, an we dinnae wunt yee tuh fahget it!


Sturgeon faw prez!

Gobblepig 24 February 23 14:29

The following day: "We should like to thank 'Jeff' for his many years of diligent service..."

Anonymous 24 February 23 14:52

Didn't you see 13.26? 

AG said it didn't happen. Or it did happen but he didn't say what he is reported to have said. Or he did say it but he didn't mean it. Or he did say it and did mean it but only with the context of the Specific Humour of Burns Night Tradition, which means that he didn't mean it and neither does the firm he represents which hosted to Burns Night event at which it was said but not meant except in the context within which it was said in which case it was meant.

In any case it appears that the client did heckle and leave as AG have refrained from denying that occurred.


Bit Harsh 25 February 23 00:02

Isn’t the “toast to the lassies” supposed to be a bit tongue in cheek offensive, as the idea is that the women in the audience faux seethe and then give it right back and everyone’s in on the joke?

I’m not part of the usual “you can’t say anything these days” brigade, but it does feel like somebody has taken offence because they have misunderstood the tradition rather than  because this chap has behaved particularly badly.


Anonymous 25 February 23 10:41

Yeah but it's one thing telling a slightly too far joke if it's actually funny. And quite another thinking you are funny when actually you are just being a pillock.

The tradition is meant to be slightly offensive and tongue in cheek but this was a work event....could have stayed clear? 

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