16 September 2016

Freshfields bans 'Dear Sirs' from all global comms

The firm is ditching the masculinised greeting in favour of more gender-neutral options.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has officially banned the use of ‘Dear Sirs’ as a salutation for all communications and legal documents across its global operations. The move comes after one associate in the firm’s London office reviewed legal documents from the last 10 IPOs and found that ‘Dear Sirs’ was used exclusively as a greeting by no fewer than 81 law firms, banks and corporates. Now, Freshfields will use dual-gendered greetings for all communications – ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ in the United Kingdom, and ‘Dear Ladies and Gentlemen’ in the United States. ‘It’s a relatively small change but it’s a significant point… I hope it will shed light on the things we might inadvertently be doing that risk alienating not only people at Freshfields but clients as well,’ said capital markets associate Megan Castellano, who helped spearhead the change. 

Source: The Lawyer