Mayer Brown has tried to demonstrate its diversity credentials by sharing pictures of a partner posing with a bag of vegetables. 

Photos accompanying the US firm’s post on LinkedIn depicted Tom Kollar, a corporate partner, packing a cloth bag with celery, oranges, peppers, corn, a bottle of Newman’s Own and an aubergine. 

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Maybe he’ll push the boat out and get his own pipe and slippers this evening. 

“It’s about making time for family”, the post claimed. “Caught Tom Kollar, partner at our corporate team and chairman of our Hong Kong Family Network, test-running our custom made Family Network tote bags and doing a bit of grocery shopping to kickstart diversity month at Mayer Brown!”

Mayer Brown’s play for diversity credibility was hampered somewhat by the lack of any discernible connection between a partner with a branded bag of veg and the concept of diversity.

The impression that Mayer Brown was paying lip service to progressive ideas was not helped by the addition of the hashtags, “#familynetwork”, and “#environmentallyfriendly”, which suggested that Kollar + veg was supposed to prove the firm was also serious about climate change and work/life balance.

"I was impressed to see a large US firm taking great leaps in diversity this week", said a source. "I've always appreciated when professional men take diversity seriously and hope Tom's wife appreciated this gallant effort. I might just send my own husband out to get the dinner in tonight to celebrate".

In Mayer Brown's defence, its lawyers told the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2020 survey that they generally rated its stance on work/life balance highly. "Work programs for working parents are in place", they said, and while "hours can be long" there was "great emphasis on days in lieu and making sure we take our holidays". And now there's a partner who'll nip out and buy you corn.

Mayer Brown did not respond to a request for comment and a squash.

Tip Off ROF


ShootyMcShootyface 21 February 20 09:43

Possibly considered "diverse" because Tom might not be a Hong Kong native?

I dunno.

Crun 21 February 20 10:09

"Caught Tom Kellar". Clearly still something furtive and shameful about grocery shopping, then...

@ShootMcShootyface? 21 February 20 10:12

A native? You mean a Hong Kongian?  A Hong Konger? 

Anonymous 21 February 20 10:24

In what sense did they 'catch' him? Are these paparazzi snaps?

Dearie 21 February 20 11:18

A man shopping? such wonderment!

Gordon 21 February 20 11:22

ffs the veggies are bought from the overpriced expat supermarket in the same office building!!

Anonymous 21 February 20 12:13

I don't get it. Are those vegetables his family now?

Anon 21 February 20 12:35

Yes.  A middle aged white male partner.    That’s diversity in operation alright.    

He looks like he’s never carried a shopping bag before.  Poor guy.  Probably just wanted to be left alone to draft documents and make money but had been told he has to do this by HR and some new “head of ....” that’s been appointed.  

Also, why is a white middle aged male carrying a shopping bag full of vegetables promoting diversity?  

Anon 21 February 20 12:51

Just so we're all clear: Are we saying that white men can never indicate diversity, even when working/ living in a country which is not majority white?

Anonymous 21 February 20 13:22

There is no diversity.  On the contrary, there is prima facie evidence of discrimination against fruit.

Anon 21 February 20 13:25

A real "on the way home from work" shop would be a couple of ready meals, some crisps and a bottle of wine. 

Anonymous 21 February 20 13:40

Ready meals and crisps as well as wine?  Are you some kind of health freak?

Anonymous 21 February 20 13:41

To show real diversity, I reckon they should adapt their name to include a woman's name. 'Mayer June' has a nice ring to it.

Anon 21 February 20 14:24

Does anyone in the firm actually respect or like [redacted by rof but faod not anyone named in the story]? Everyone I talk to just thinks he’s a narcissistic asshole...

Anonymous 21 February 20 16:16

Got me thinking - what would be a good picture to show diversity?

Anon 22 February 20 16:36

Everyone in the firm knows who 14:24 is talking about. Redaction is pointless. 

Anonymous 23 February 20 07:49

Nobody else does though.

Anon 26 February 20 15:28

I think most people who work or have worked at the firm, know who is being mentioned. 

Anon 27 February 20 10:58

The point is that the country is not predominantly white - It’s the law firm which is predominantly white and they are the ones advocating diversity hence why choosing a male white partner is an own goal.  

Anonymous 27 February 20 21:21

I doubt people at the firm do know is being mentioned. Nobody else does.


Anonymous 28 February 20 07:34

By definition, choosing any one person, regardless of race or gender, isn't diverse.

cheeky GC 28 February 20 08:05

This goes down as one of the more bizarre ways I've seen someone come out the closet

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