My brother Esau . . .

There was a lovely article in the FT some months ago about beards, A hairy issue for today’s executive, explaining why today’s executive prefers a clean shave. In the legal profession it is little different. Bearded lawyers are comparatively rare (for example, of my just short of 60 partners, only one at last count was bearded).

Why this should be the case I don’t know, but I still remember the words of my principal, as we left a meeting at a very pukka Lincolns Inn law firm some 30 plus years ago.

I don’t usually trust lawyers with beards. Mr X [with whom we had just had a less than satisfactory meeting] has done nothing to dispel this prejudice.

From that you will gather that the then partnership of my firm was clean shaven to a man. During my six months off to take Law Society Finals Part II I grew what I thought was a very fine red beard. Having to go into the office to collect something, I bumped into the Senior Partner.

Been on a cruise? Quite sure we won’t see it when you are back next week.

He didn’t.

Watching the fairly recent proceedings of the General Synod, beards are clearly more acceptable in the Church of England than the law, although whether their wearers are more or less trustworthy I couldn’t say.

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