Big Read

Big Read: Inside the toxic culture pushing Irish lawyers to breaking point

The death of a British partner who had an ‘acute mental health crisis’ following 18-hour days to close a deal has led to a discussion about the legal profession’s silent killer

It has long been known that lawyers experience significant mental health issues as a result of court deadlines, the pressures of handling client money, and the reputational risks which come with making a mistake

When an experienced Irish solicitor read reports that a Pinsent Masons partner in Britain died during an “acute mental health crisis”, the details in the inquest’s report about her work life felt all too familiar.

Like many in the legal profession, the corporate lawyer, who has worked in some of Ireland’s biggest firms, has been deeply affected by the details in Vanessa Ford’s case.

Ford, a 47-year-old mother of two, who died last year, was ...