Law firm mocked for doctoring employee photo to remove champagne glasses

A New Zealand law firm has been caught out for doctoring a photo of its employees so they wouldn’t be seen drinking alcohol.

On Monday, the firm, Simpson Grierson, posted an image to Instagram of several staff members celebrating after recently passing the bar exam, Stuff.co.nz reported.

But eagle-eyed viewers spotted something peculiar about the image, with three female employees’ hands appearing to hold thin air.

Wine glasses were Photoshopped out of the hands of three employees. (Photo: Instagram/Simpson Grierson via Newsroom)

The law firm has since confirmed that the image was edited, a move commenters have called “ridiculous” and “pathetic.”

“We’re proud of their achievements and shared the photo externally, taking the champagne glasses out so the focus would be on our graduates’ awesome milestone and not about them having a drink at a work function,” a spokesman told the publication.

“By doing so we seem to have created the opposite effect, which was certainly not what we intended.”

Yahoo has contacted Simpson Grierson for comment on the decision to alter the image.

The drinks were reportedly removed after some firm employees suggested their presence might have a negative connotation.

“We’re very aware of the media sometimes misconstruing things and making it look like it’s all about the young lawyers having a drink at work,” human resources consultant Poncho Rivera-Pavon told Newsroom. “We wanted to make it all about their admission to the bar and how important it is for them, so we decided to remove the glasses.”

Some reports have also suggested that the firm wanted to avoid charges of impropriety or unprofessional behavior.

Simpson Grierson has pulled the image from social media and apologized for the incident. A new — and also drink-free — image has since gone up on the firm’s Instagram.


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