Women lawyers at City firm Clifford Chance have been given a £90 lingerie allowance.
Now, as you can well imagine, I don’t normally “spring” into anything — much less action. But within nanoseconds of receiving this information, I fired off a flurry of emails.
It turns out that the story comes from the Guardian – U.K. Here are some additional details about this (lacy?) fringe benefit:
Women lawyers at top City firm Clifford Chance are bucking the trend for reduced expenses now that their £90 lingerie-and-blouse allowance, if they work later than 11pm, has been reinstated. Inevitably dubbed the “90 nicker knicker allowance”, this may or may not be the most reliable indicator yet that the credit crunch is over. (Business is apparently so hectic that the firm has also installed sleeping pods.)
If you “work” later than 11 o’clock, you get to buy new panties? Why didn’t I think of that? More importantly, why didn’t Ben Franklin think of that and put it in the Constitution?
After consulting colleagues in London, a spokesperson for Clifford Chance in New York got back to me about bringing this commitment to sensual excellence to America. Sadly, it turns out that what sounds like one of the greatest Biglaw perks ever is in fact just a pedestrian acknowledgment of basic hygiene.
The Clifford Chance knicker allowance applies to both men and women. But the perk is not there so hardworking attorneys can go out and get themselves something “nice,” to be enjoyed in the company of a spouse or significant other after a long day at the office.
Rather, it’s just part of the firm’s general reimbursement of expenses its attorneys incur when working a surprise all-nighter away from home. Explains the spokesperson:
If an attorney is working hard and working late — perhaps at a client’s office that is miles away from their home — then the firm will reimburse them for a hotel room. If they need a shower or a shave or, yes, a new pair of “knickers,” the firm will pay for that. Frankly we think it’s what any good firm or company would do.”
Leave it to lawyers to take the fun out of everything.
Is putting in for a new pair of underwear an implicit admission that your old pair is, er, less-than-pristine? Would you really submit a reimbursement form with “Silk briefs: Saks Fifth Avenue” as the entry?
Would you wear a bra with your firm’s logo emblazoned on the cups? If so, would that make you more or less prestigious? (And if you’re not DD, does that make you TTT?)
I can’t wait until this recession is over and perk watch comes back as a regular feature.
£90 briefs fit for a brief [The Guardian]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Biglaw perks