.. that someone died. But I don't quite buy The Times take on this story (via Charon QC). For a start, the clear implication of the article is that this was a case of suicide. Yet there seems no real proof of that, and Tate Modern seems an odd place to choose. Secondly, the article states that:
As a £55,000-a-year junior, he would frequently have been called on to work 16-hour days, seven days a week, for weeks on end to keep up with the firm’s relentless flow of multi-billion-pound deals.
In some departments he might certainly have been called upon to do that sometimes. But the article makes it appear that this is the norm, 52 weeks a year, across the magic circle and the next tier, across departments, and from what I understand from friends at such places, it isn't quite that bad (ETA: -in London, I wouldn't like to comment on New York). In particular, the guy worked in IP, not typically an area where such hours are at all regular.
Then the article goes on to talk about bonuses. This seems a bit of a non-sequitur. The current ranting about bonuses is not, so far as I understand it, about the (comparatively) small bonuses of junior MC solicitors but about the vastly more significant bonuses elsewhere in the City, traders and the like.
Finally, assuming for the moment that suicide is what this was, every suicide is a tragedy. There are thousands of them in the UK every year, particularly among young men: it's a tragedy which we have largely failed to address (though the rate is decreasing). Why does this one have a major article in The Times and a Standard headline? Because of his education and profession? Evidently his education and its cost are considered relevant to the article, as they are referred to:
"Mr Courtney studied law on an open scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, and spent a year at law school in London. He previously attended Durham School, which costs £4,000 a term". Because of the implied inference that he killed himself because his job was too stressful? Isn't it a bit soon, a few days after the event, to jump to that kind of conclusion? For the record, I do think many law firms make outrageous demands of their juniors (he was one year PQE). But to imply that this has caused someone to kill themselves seems a bit over the top at this stage.
I didn't know him, though I shan't be a bit surprised if I discover someone I know did. I'm sorry he's dead, the more so if he killed himself as a result of desparate unhappiness. But this article seems to be nothing more than a mass of speculation, including statistics of which I am doubtful, seeking to jump to conclusions about possible connections between someone's death and what I consider the real problem of the way we do business in the City, quite possibly having a negative effect on the possibility of a sensible debate on that problem. Frankly it reads like a Daily Mail article.
I don't work in that world, quite, though I have many friends and acquaintances who do. I'd be particularly interested to know what those of you who do or have think. I'd never understood FF to have a particularly bad reputation, for a start.