Similarly to how a party's representative is often referred to in the third person as "solicitors," it seems often that in legal submissions and other correspondence, individual solicitors will use a first-person plural as well, a kind of "legal 'we'."

What is the basis and significance of it, and when is it appropriate? Is it understood to reflect that an entire firm (and so team) of lawyers perhaps, to some degree or other, collaborated to arrive at the conclusions contained in the correspondence, thus lending them a greater credibility and kind of clout? "We submit" "We contend" "We believe".

Warren Buffett's famous shareholders seem to do the same thing, but that seems more easily explained by the fact that the letter is to shareholders, and so inherently, the relationship of a shareholder with a company is very specifically with the company itself, on the behalf of which Buffett would then necessarily be writing, so we could be understood to encompass all of those who make up the company.

One also recalls the conventional "royal we," where monarchs (and perhaps some other nobility?) are conventionally entitled to refer to themselves in the plural.

  • 1
    It could just be pomposity to counter feelings of inadequacy on their part.
    – user35069
    Feb 14, 2023 at 22:33
  • 1
    I might be wrong, but I feel like I've seen it around a little bit too often for it not to be some sort of convention? Feb 14, 2023 at 22:37

1 Answer 1


A group is not an “I”

Plural pronouns are appropriate when it is collective that is speaking (we, us) or being referred to (they, them). So, partnerships, clubs, companies, governments, families etc. are all pluralities.

Specifically for lawyers, when they speak, they are doing so on behalf of their client so there are always two people involved - the lawyer and the client. “We contend” means “My client and I contend”.

  • Is it generally more on the basis of the plurality of the law firm as a company, or the plurality of the two separate entities in client & representative? Feb 15, 2023 at 12:15

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