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I am surprised a solicitor would even make such a call. Why has everyone just jumped to the assumption the client was being racist?

Some people have significant difficulty understanding accents. Research has been carried out into this and it is a genuine problem. The client may adopt a carte blanche rule to avoid having to explain themselves - I've come across this before and it is nothing at all to do with racism when you dig into it.

Also, if it is acceptable that abused women are entitled to female representation, abused males are also entitled to the same choice.

Effective communication is so important, and we mustn't jump to the wrong conclusions.

There's a myriad of reasons for people's preferences, and frequently have nothing at all to do with racism or sexism.

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