After the enthusiastic response to our debut Male Barrister Hottie list, we thought long and hard about what to do next. The answer seemed clear. Avoiding women would just be too easy - and perhaps even sexist.
We had some reservations. Because women are still judged on their appearance on a daily basis, they don’t particularly need anything else to remind them of our lookist society. Or so the argument goes. But we don’t like the idea that women barristers, unlike men, are not powerful enough to withstand a hottie list. We didn’t believe that this would destroy the legal profession, as some Chicken Littles predicted. Plus, we think we have excellent taste in women.
And so we marched on, and now present you with the fruits of our labour. As always, if you agree or disagree, we’d love to hear from you. All tips and comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates @BarristerHottie.
The Barrister Hottie Experts
1) Amal Alamuddin (Doughty Street): Amo, Amas, Amal. These are three short words that come to mind when thinking about this dazzling beauty. Amal Alamuddin may make some feel inadequate because she has achieved the seemingly unattainable ideal of contemporary femininity: She is both breathtakingly beautiful and formidably successful. Not only does she have huge warm eyes and silky, jet-black hair, but she speaks French and Arabic. (The only point we see against her is that she went to St. Hugh’s, Oxford. It’s way out of town and looks like a sanatorium.) We can imagine Amal and Wayne Jordash chatting at Doughty, swapping case histories to show who’s the boss: ‘Ok you defended Milosevic’s murderous intelligence chief,’ says Amal, ‘but I am best mates with Kofi Annan and an expert in drones. AND I’m defending the sleaziest guy in town, Julian Assange.’ You go girl!
2) Marianne Butler (Fountain Court): If Leonard Cohen wanted to update his classic love-song, it might go something like this: ‘So long Marianne, it’s time that we began…to crown you the queen of the barrister hotties’. Of course Marianne Butler is ferociously intelligent with a first from Oxford (PPE), a cornucopia of prizes and a glittering career at Fountain Court where she keeps all the male hotties on their toes. (We don’t know how these Fountain hotties manage to get any work done with so many distractions!) Those secretarial glasses do nothing to hide Marianne’s gleeful eyes — in fact, they only add to her naughty, mirthful appeal. Even Legal 500 felt compelled to tell us that she is ‘fun and sassy’. Your resident experts can confirm the veracity of the statement. Marianne has a great sense of humour and is, for the time being, our No. 1 girl crush. (P.S. Hey Fountain Court, we know you love foliage in your chambers pics, so why have you put Marianne next to a dirt patch? At least get her some leaves…)
3) Sri Carmichael (Hardwicke): With her pale skin, auburn hair and icy expression, Sri looks like a majestic Celtic warrior or a princess in an Icelandic Saga, with a name like Frigg or Sinthgunt. We envision her in a desolate landscape, intimidating her barbarian enemies with her beauty, a spear, and an army of besotted men willing to die for her. According to her admirers, she is ‘even more beautiful in the flesh’, ‘charming and super bright’, and ‘tall with an incredible supermodel figure’. One ‘hopelessly smitten’ fellow who emailed is nursing a long and unrequited passion for this redheaded stunner. Sri, maybe you can drop us a line and tell us what it’s like to have legions of men pining for you.
4) Siobhan Grey (Doughty Street): Ah Siobhan. If you had been born in 1850s, you might have been ‘discovered’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and made to sit for hours in a medieval dress, fingering a lute for a series of langorous, slightly lascivious portraits. But here you are today, fighting white collar fraud and defending freedom of expression. We see you have staged a seminar in Gray’s Inn with the slightly leading title, “Gagging the Press - Is the Public Bound to Suffer?’ and have presented a lecture to Lincoln’s Inn entitled “Too Much Information: The Dangers of living in the Digital Age.” We hope you won’t count being included on this list as one of the dangers, but either way, we’d be happy to speak at one of your seminars, perhaps on the topic, “Barrister Hottie Experts: God’s Gift to the Bar?”
5) Laura Newton (11 Stone Buildings): Oh Laura, you lovely English rose, even your name is quintessentially British. Can we ask you if anyone has compared you to the young Marianne Faithfull? We see you bicycling down a Reading country lane in 1964 with your blonde hair blowing in the wind and your big periwinkle eyes dreaming of London. There you acquire a black velvet dress with a white collar and a pair of boots from Mary Quant’s Bazaar, and become the ‘it girl’ of the swinging sixties. Oh wait, this is 2013 and women are more than dolly birds and muses. You are in fact a very serious professional woman who speaks German, French and a bit of Mandarin. You’re just lucky enough to still look like a winsome schoolgirl.
6) Elizabeth Nartey (Argent Chambers): Even though Elizabeth is obviously stunning, she also has the kind of face that exudes kindness, warmth and sincerity. We imagine that her empathetic demeanour is rather disarming to all the hardened criminals she deals with on a daily basis at Argent. Elizabeth could have become a shipping lawyer but she clearly craved the grittier side of life. Hell, she’s an expert in ‘murder, fraud, serious (rather than minor) sexual offences, drug offences and violent offences’. We would LOVE to sit next to Elizabeth at a dinner party and, instead of the usual banal chit chat about freaking engagement rings, get some real convo for a change. ‘Yeah, well when I was defending this sweet little cannabis dealer…I also had to learn about the nature of facial mapping…and then I was defending an alleged participant in a Kurdish gang killing’. Hot stuff.
7) Laura Bell (Devereux Chambers): There is something delightful about Laura, who — with her big brown eyes and warm smile — could pass as a beautiful version of the gentle school teacher, Miss Honey, in Roald Dahl’s Matilda. We’ve also learned, incidentally, that Laura has a lot in common with one of your Barrister Hottie Experts. Laura is a classically trained violinist, BHE 1 is a classically trained violinist. Laura has long brown hair, BHE 1 has long brown hair. Laura has a successful career as a barrister, BHE 1 writes about successful barristers while swigging cheap Sainsbury’s prosecco. See? THE SAME. Laura won a scholarship in a ‘joint course’ at the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music, and we respect her for pursuing art for arts sake before turning to the more the lucrative profession of barristering. You’ve done the north proud Laura. We trust you’ll send us tips about any barrister hotties in Manchester for our regional list.
8) Gemma White (Blackstone Chambers): Gemma immediately caught our eye as a lady with class. Like Katherine Hepburn in ‘The African Queen’ or Lauren Bacall in ‘Key Largo’, she exudes a simple, elegant East Coast style that in times past signified good breeding. We imagine her in crisp, white shirts, khaki skirts and espadrilles, relaxing in sunny climes, where she acquires a honey hue and easy smile. Gemma isn’t all sun and fun, however. Her case history at Blackstone shows she’s a formidable advocate — any man would be lucky to have her at his side during a hurricane or trip down the Belgian Congo.
9) Sophie Wellings (QEB): We have no doubt that the German-speaking Sophie is absolutely lovely in person. With a woman this beautiful and accomplished, however, you really can’t take any chances. If you’re at a social occasion and you see an angelic, dewy-eyed nymph like Sophie walk in, the best thing to do is to swiftly make your way over to your boyfriend, and whisper in his ear that you’ve come down with a nasty case of the runs. Insist that you leave immediately — together. Do it quickly, before the clasically trained soprano Sophie is asked to sing some Schubert lieder and your boyfriend is lost forever (like in those costume dramas where the men go goggly-eyed when a lovely lady warbles next to the piano forte).