stress willy

Glad tidings of comfort and joy

A lawyer has raised eyebrows at Howes Percival by sending a female partner a 'stress willy' as a Secret Santa gift.

Staff in the firm's Leicester office had to post their Secret Santa presents directly to individuals. A male insolvency solicitor decided the perfect prezzie for a partner was a squeezy dong to relieve tension, according to a source.

"It was a case of 'whodunnit' until the male solicitor confessed" to the female partner, said the insider.

Howes Percival did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the gifting of the squashable member.

It was not the only firm where the spirit of Christmas took a peculiar turn. At Harneys, two partners "thought it would be funny to send a potato parcel with a picture of their faces to clients in lieu of the traditional bottle of champagne," a source told RollOnFriday. After some post-Christmas debate, staff concluded that the clients may not have received it "all that well," said the source. 

Harneys did respond to requests for comment.   

Let ROF know if your workplace beat the oddness of the prezzies on offer at Harneys and Howes Percival this Christmas. In the meantime, do take the survey below.

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Cock & Ball 15 January 21 08:23

This place sounds a hoot, bet it was Brent or Gareth.  God bless Keith and his scotch eggs.

Anonymous 15 January 21 08:58

Style it out and everyone will forget about it.

Feel embarrassed and it will be brought up at every works drinks until you resign.

not tellng 15 January 21 09:07

Back in the day an un-named associate (not me) bought a candy g-sting (you guys remember the candy bracelets you could buy as a kid from the sweet-shop? little hoops on an elasticated band? anyway like that only a g string affair) for a senior female partner.

She styled it out (no choice as it was opened at the office christmas party) and is now a criminal recorder (she's done some cracking work, worthy of these pages).  


Anonymous 15 January 21 09:08

Does he expect her to keep it on her desk?

At best it's a bit crass, at worst it's a hint of something a bit sinister swirling beneath the surface.


Anonymous 15 January 21 09:18

Did she find it crass or sinister? I don't think Secret Santa presents are supposed to be entirely serious.

Anonymous 15 January 21 09:20

The SRA are already preparing a file to strike him off, fine him £1m and send him to prison for 20 years for "behaving inappropriately" (the new catch-all regulatory breach of "someone doesn't like this, but doesn't want to admit it's just their opinion").

Anonymous 15 January 21 09:54

@09:20 - quite right too!

That's exactly the sort of thing I want them to do as my regulator. If they weren't spending their days policing our morality then they'd have to waste time on useless stuff like raising standards of practice in the profession, streamlining the administrative burden on small firms to keep the market competitive, and thinking about how to improve the pathway to qualification into the profession to keep English Law competitive for overseas markets.

God, they might even start scraping the barrel and thinking about how to regulate 'disruptive' technology services that offer 'self-service' legal advice to small businesses without any guarantee of accuracy or quality.

Far better that they spend their time hunting down regional solicitors and striking them off for failing to comport themselves to this week's standards of social conduct as published in the Guardian's opinion section. They can't do any real harm that way.

Paul 15 January 21 09:55

Giving inappropriate gifts was once standard practice for Secret Santa but now it makes the pages of ROF. 

Petrus 15 January 21 12:00

It would be interesting to hear how RoF came by this story. The present was presumably sent to the recipient's home. So only the donor or donee could have allowed the story to leak.

Anonymous 15 January 21 12:31

@12:06 and quite right too, he was cleared of all wrongdoing by the BSB so is entitled to work wherever he wishes.

Mortality notwithstanding.

Name 15 January 21 12:58

Someone in our group bought a partner a mug which said “I am a twat” on it for secret Santa. That didn’t go down well.

Anonymous 15 January 21 13:43

12.00 - or whoever co-ordinated the Secret Santa. Or anyone who knew who'd bought what for whom.

Anonymous 15 January 21 15:24

Secret Santa is excellent. It's the last way of finding out who needs to be fired.

Anon 15 January 21 20:51

Anonymous 15 January 21 12:31:

The BSB did not clear Lord Lester QC. They rather found that, despite harassing Ms Sanghera, he should not be sanctioned. The relevant part of the ruling, which is publicly available, is at paragraph 16 and provides: 

“The question which therefore falls to be determined is whether, in light of the findings against Lord Lester, he should be allowed to continue to practise. This has given us very anxious cause for consideration. After all, Lord Lester was found to have harassed Ms Sanghera and abused his position. Those findings stand, notwithstanding Ms Sanghera’s non-participation in the instant proceedings. We have no jurisdiction to revisit those findings or to interfere with them. We are driven to conclude, however, that notwithstanding Lord Lester’s conduct, he should not be subject to sanction. This is because he intends imminently to retire and does not intend to renew his Practising Certificate upon its expiry.”

Anonymous 16 January 21 09:04

@not telling - it may be that the senior female partner and recorder found the comedy g-string further rather than styled it out.

Anonymous 19 January 21 11:27

Anonymous 15 January 21 09:08

Does he expect her to keep it on her desk?

At best it's a bit crass, at worst it's a hint of something a bit sinister swirling beneath the surface.


Depressing to see the apologists for this.

But if you want to see evidence of the psychological swamp that most people think of as "normal" then do an image search of the word schoolgirl and then one of schoolboy and note the differences.

Girls can't even have a childhood without being sexualised and no-one bats an eyelid.  Trivialising, demeaning and inappropriately sexualising women is just a bit of fun.

Meanwhile, no-one buys a male partner a pair of comedy breasts.

Anonymous 19 January 21 11:31

Anonymous 15 January 21 09:18

Did she find it crass or sinister? I don't think Secret Santa presents are supposed to be entirely serious.

If she complains she's over-reacting and if she doesn't then she is giving tacit approval.

She's in a lose - lose situation.

Or to put in in terms you might understand - it's the Kobayashi Maru.  Only women face this sort of thing every day and it's impossible to cheat.

Anon 19 January 21 11:57

Anonymous 16 January 21 07:46: please provide the BSB’s ruling which allegedly cleared Lord Lester.

Anonymous 19 January 21 13:36

11.27 - nothing to apologise for, she's not a schoolgirl, and yes they do. You're mixing up different things.

11.31 - but did she find it crass or sinister? She's allowed to find it funny or not be bothered if she chooses.


Santa's Little Helper 19 January 21 14:10

As with online message boards and social media etc, whenever there appears to be the veil of anonymity this is what's under the surface with your fellow man.

Best not to get involved with secret santa at work.


KKKaren 19 January 21 17:32

I for one thank Goddess that we have Anonymous 19 January 21 13:36 to explain how to interpret women's experiences.

Without that I simply wouldn't know what to think.

Anonymous 19 January 21 18:33

There's something very reassuring about the persistence of Anonymous 19 January 21 13:36 and the dudebros like him.

People like this only fight so hard to control the narrative because they're scared their worldview is being superseded.

These are the last gasps of the outdated and increasingly irrelevant.  Right now there's nothing left to lose.  In a generation or two there'll simply be nothing left.

Anonymous 19 January 21 19:36

I suppose if you watch enough pornography then giving a woman at work a plastic penis seems like a reasonable thing to do.

I can't help thinking an ordinary stress ball or a foam rubber brick might have been a better choice.

Anonymous 20 January 21 06:17

Santa's Little Helper 19 January 21 14:10

Best not to get involved with secret santa at work.


Alternatively, just don't give people rubber willies.  There are plenty of other novelty gifts available.

Anonymous 20 January 21 15:09

KKKaren - we're not interpreting womens' feelings, we're asking what the woman's feelings are.

Anonymous 20 January 21 15:13

19th @ 18.33 - sounds like you're the one trying to control the narrative.

Sorry you find it outdated and increasingly irrelevant to ask a woman what she thinks.

Santa's Little Helper 20 January 21 15:38

Even if it's well intended as a joke, most employers will say that their employees shouldn't be offended at work and it go beyond that if it may involve legally protected characteristics. Easier not to take the risk and not get involved in secret santa at work.

Anon 20 January 21 16:12

Anonymous 19 January 21 18:33: spot on. Anonymous 19 January 21 13:36 is Mr Evidence - the creepy apologist for Lord Lester.

Anonymous 21 January 21 12:07

Santa's Little Helper - why do you think employers permit Secret Santa then?

I think its best that those who want to take part do and those who don't don't. People also shouldn't go looking for offence.

Anonymous 21 January 21 12:30

Anonymous 20 January 21 18:33: trust you now stand corrected.

Anonymous 20 January 21 16.12 is Mrs No Evidence - the creepy thinker that Lord Lester needs an apologist.

Santa's Little Helper 21 January 21 15:50


"why do you think employers permit Secret Santa then?"

Poor judgement on the employer's part.

"I think its best that those who want to take part do and those who don't don't. People also shouldn't go looking for offence."

A diverse and inclusive workplace should allow staff to participate in these things without fear of being offended or subjected to discriminatory behavior. It shouldn't be a case of that you have to accept that either you could be offended/subjected to discriminatory behavior and your employer will do nothing about it or you're excluded from the event.



Offended 21 January 21 16:10

I'm offended.

Ban Secret Santa; the big bearded get. He shouldn't be putting willies in anyone's stockings.   

Anonymous 21 January 21 17:47

Anonymous 21 January 21 13:00: why would Lord Lester need an apologist, Mrs No Evidence?

Anonymous 21 January 21 17:59

Santa's Little Helper - those who view Secret Santa as poor judgement on the employers' part are probably best advised not to partake  or to watch the presents being given out, or to enquire about the presents.

It isn't possible to guarantee that nobody will be offended - somebody is always likely to be offended and some people go looking for offence. And we can't take offence on behalf of other people.

We still don't know whether the recipient of the gift in this story was offended (it appears she wasn't).

Anon 22 January 21 05:48

It is irrelevant how she felt about the matter. These matters are viewed objectively. Giving someone a plastic penis in the workplace is unacceptable for obvious reasons. 

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