The City’s magic circle law firms have kept tight-lipped on whether they will follow the lead set by Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer and abolish the term ‘Dear Sirs’ on communications.
Earlier today, it was reported that Freshfields had abolished the term from its communications and legal documents.
In a statement, Chris Pugh, joint managing partner, said it was ‘a relatively small change’ but a significant point that you notice when everyone immediately accepts that the change needs to happen.
Pugh added: ‘I hope it will shed light on other things that we might inadvertently be doing that risk alienating people we communicate with – not only people at Freshfields but clients and other professionals as well.’
The firm implemented the change after Megan Castellano, an associate in the London office, researched documents from the last 10 initial public offerings which showed that 81 law firms, banks and corporates exclusively used the term ‘Dear Sirs’.
But when asked by the Gazette whether they planned to follow suit the remaining firms gave little away.
Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance were unable to comment while Linklaters said it was evaluating its communications to ensure they were appropriate for all genders.
A Linklaters spokesperson added: ‘The main focus of our diversity and inclusion initiatives is and remains addressing the lack of inclusion across all strands not just gender.’