Behold The Gentle Men.
Romance isn't dead, it’s just working for Baker McKenzie in a Pikachu hat.
A video has emerged showing the firm's musical male staff in Vietnam serenading their female colleagues to mark Vietnamese Women’s Day, an annual event which provides an opportunity for men to "thank and show love and appreciation for the women in their lives".
The footage dates from 2020, but was only recently uploaded to YouTube.
Their latest creation begins with an email being typed to everyone in the firm's Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi offices, which reads, "Dear Ladies of BM Vietnam Office, Please find attached a music video showing our appreciation for your contribution to the firm and its people".
The sign off starts as, "Regards, The Men", but it is then deleted and amended to "The 'Gentle' Men", which should set alarm bells ringing.
It is not the Hanoi office's first brush with genius - its staff produced the pandemic’s definitive Covid safety video.
The Bakers band then appears and gets stuck into their chosen number: Miss You Like Crazy by The Moffats.
Lyrics such as, "You are all that I want/You are all that I need/Can't you see how I feel/Can't you see that my pain's so real", and, "Girl I'm so down when your love's not around/I miss you, miss you, miss you/I miss you like crazy", speak to the heartache the B&M fellas have endured since Covid separated them from the ladies.
Despite the good intentions behind the effort, RollOnFriday advises UK lawyers against taking a similar approach, however much they long for the company of their co-workers.
In the MeToo era, a man singing to his female colleague, "I used to call you the love/The love that I never had/When I think of you/I don't know what to do", is an artistic choice which carries a significant risk of HR unplugging the amp and bundling the singer down an open lift shaft. That goes double for Bakers, which was shaken to its core when it emerged that management had covered up the inappropriate conduct of one of their leaders, possibly after he'd listened one too many times to Miss You Like Crazy.
A defensive Baker McKenzie spokesperson said, "Vietnamese Women's Day is based around the idea of presenting either gifts or gestures of appreciation and respect to women in Vietnam. With this performance, our colleagues in Vietnam tried to overcome social distancing restrictions and come together to celebrate a virtual Vietnamese Women's Day in a creative and respectful way, and to show their gratitude and continued support for their female colleagues via song".
"Therefore, it would be unfortunate to see this effort taken out of context, without fully understanding Vietnamese Women's Day from a local and cultural perspective", they added.
The Gentle Men will have been underwhelmed by Baker McKenzie’s official video marking International Women's Day, which showcased women describing their professional achievements, goals and obstacles, and contained not a single rendition of Since U Been Gone.
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