Garrick ‘may lift 192-year ban on female members’
By Cameron Charters
dmg media (UK)
FOR years, the male-only Garrick private members’ club has batted away calls to allow women to join – and has relied on a top lawyer’s opinion to justify its stance. But that same barrister has reportedly changed his mind – potentially opening the doors to the first women members since the London club opened in 1831. The volte-face by Michael Beloff KC has reignited a row among the club’s 1,300 members who disagree about whether to let women in. Previously, Mr Beloff told the club’s hierarchy that the Law of Property Act 1925 excluded female membership. He said in 2011 that this was because the law states ‘no candidate shall be eligible unless he be proposed by one member and seconded by another’. But last week he warned the club’s committee that if they continue to ban women it is ‘likely to provoke an expensive lawsuit’. In 2011, Joanna Lumley unsuccessfully applied to join, while Emily Bendell, who owns a lingerie brand, has campaigned for female membership.