top of page
  • Writer's pictureRosie Burbidge

The human cost of exclusion

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

The Luxury Law Summit looked at many business and legal issues but one of the great themes across the day was collaboration.

Many thousands of dollars are regularly awarded in cases based on profiling or exclusion. It's not just about doing the right, thing, there's a compelling business case for taking inclusion seriously explained Christopher Lacy (Parsons).

Christopher explained that luxury often falls short of true inclusivity and neglects key demographics which are important for luxury’s future. He looked in particular at the regular missteps that are made in advertising campaigns or ignoring user needs, particularly disabled customers, in product design.

Training and advertising is frequently rolled out as a solution but this doesn’t touch the sides of the problem. Instead, collaboration is the key.

Christopher brought out a new training programme for Barneys New York in collaboration with many parts of the business who don’t usually work together. He encouraged the legal team to join him on store visits. He explained that Legal offered a great viewpoint which helped to craft an excellent policy thanks to the power of scepticism. In other words, the members of the legal team were able to challenge his ideas in a credible way. This meant that the ultimate programme was more finely honed and evolved than it would have been without the legal team’s involvement.

Legal helped to develop clear and concise communication with sales associates so that there was clarity around expectations. They were able to work with the HR team following their understanding of the customer team to improve processes there as well.

Christopher’s advice was for legal to directly engage with the people who are responsible for developing customer programmes and work with them in a much more direct way.

One of the great themes of the day was the benefits of collaboration and this was a great example of how collaboration can benefit everyone from the store to the sales associates and, importantly, the luxury consumer.

It was great to hear his experience and a great reminder of why inclusivity should be lived and breathed in an organisation and not just left to a training programme.

To find out more contact Rosie Burbidge, Intellectual Property Partner at Gunnercooke LLP in London -


bottom of page