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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Tuesday 27 September 2016


A leading firm of London solicitors has banned the use of Dear Sirs from their communications.  Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (think of the cost of the ink if you drop them a manuscript line and address them fully though their clients tend to have more than a bob or two) are replacing the salutation with Dear Sir or Madam in Britain and Dear Ladies and Gentlemen in America. 

Freshfields (I can't afford the ink) should take a word out of the vocabulary of a senior civil servant at the Ministry of Justice who have just sent me a generic message addressed Dear Recipient. Even I cannot take any exception to that.

Stand by for another London firm playing catch up with a new code for signing off communications. Yours truly is obviously out of the question, especially when it tails a protocol letter of claim. When I was an articled clerk we used to finish off to the court with We are, Your obedient servants. Perhaps that could make a come back. Certainly, clients would like it.