Dress for the high-end London club, not the office, the firm tells its lawyers

Ayesha Vardag has introduced new office dress rules at her law firm

It’s often said that appearances matter, but a law firm has now told staff they can ditch smart suits at the office and instead dress in a way that “will bring your personality to work.”

Vardags, a law firm that specializes in divorce and family law, believes suits and ties have become “the domain of bankers and real estate agents.”

Instead, he urged his 120 employees to dress as if they were attending Annabel’s, the exclusive private club in Mayfair, London, frequented by the rich and famous.

There’s no longer a need for formal wear for the office, with staff at the company’s London, Manchester and Cambridge offices encouraged to wear whatever they want as long as it’s ‘stylish’.

That means an electric blue sequined jacket, gold leather pants, and scarlet Doc Martin boots are permissible attire, except when appearing in court, of course.

“We’re moving to a more Annabel-like dress code — elegance is the essence,” said a memo sent to staff on Wednesday.

Staff have been told the new dress code will resemble Annabel's in Mayfair, London - Paul Grover for The Telegraph

Staff have been told the new dress code will resemble Annabel’s in Mayfair, London – Paul Grover for The Telegraph

Ayesha Vardag, founder of the firm who specializes in high-net-worth cases, told staff the new dress code encourages them to “bring their personality to work” and “be as incredibly fabulous as it feels”.

He added: “Times are changing and Vardags keep on moving – there was a time for our double cuff and cufflinks dress code, formal dark suits and jackets.

“But now business suits are so much the domain of bankers and estate agents that they are shunned by some of London’s more extravagant clubs.

“Still formal, still totally high-end and appropriate for the luxury market we’re dealing with, without affecting your gravitas as a professional, but you don’t have to wear ties, you can still wear your suits if you want (and probably for court, plus or not) but day to day if you want an electric blue sequin jacket and gold leather pants, if you want pink hair or scarlet DMs, if you want a purple velvet jacket, it’s okay.

The memo concluded, “This is, by the way, non-gender specific. Not scruffy or scruffy, not hooded tech (except for techs, who I appreciate are hardwired to wear hoodies), not trashy, always tasteful, but you can all be as wildly fabulous as you like, and express yourself to the fullest. All part of one of our core values: bring your personality to work!

‘Dress for the occasion’

The dress code for Annabel’s is designed to “encourage individuality and fabulous party attire”, with guests advised to “dress for the occasion and be respectful in choosing smart and elegant attire”.

Jeans, smart leather jackets, and trainers are only permitted if in “good repair,” while sportswear and gym equipment are prohibited unless guests are attending a pre-booked fitness event.

Ripped jeans, flip flops and excessive skin exposure are not allowed in the club.

It is not the first time that Ms Vardag has issued a decree to staff on what not to wear in the workplace.

In 2020, his memos reminding his staff to adhere to the company’s previous dress code were leaked to a legal gossip website.

One email was headed “Cardigan!” and she said, “I see cardigans in the office. Look at the dress code in the manual. The woolly are verboten.

He also ordered all staff to stop looking like “pretty young things” in the office, instead telling them to look like “executive” and like “the president of an important country”.

Ms Vardag, 52, who has also been dubbed “the diva of divorce,” rose to fame following her role in the landmark Supreme Court case Radmacher v. Granatino in 2010, which changed the law to make prenuptial agreements legal binding in the UK.

Katrin Radmacher, a German heiress, won a judgment arguing that the prenuptial agreement drawn up to protect her £100m fortune by her French-born husband, Nicolas Granatino, was legally binding.

Ms. Vardag acted for Radmacher at the Supreme Court hearing. Farrer & Co, Queen Elizabeth II’s attorneys, were then appointed to take up the case, handling implementation.

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