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Magic circle firm Linklaters reveals what staff parties were like over 100 years ago

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Historic image shows top City lawyers of the time enjoying a lavish dinner — and there’s not a woman in sight

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Magic circle giant Linklaters has revealed what parties were like at the firm more than 100 years ago, in a historic photograph shared by one of its social media accounts.

Tweeting from the graduate recruitment Twitter account yesterday, the global megafirm posted an image of partners and staff sitting down to a formal dinner back in 1908.

With all attendees appearing to be middle-aged white males gearing up for Movember, it’s an image that shows perhaps just how far diversity has improved amongst City firms. According to Legal Cheek’s Most List more than half of Linklaters’ London associates are now women, while more than a quarter are ethnic minorities. The firm is less diverse at senior level, with 24% of partners female and 8% from ethnic minorities, but this is still a big improvement on 1908.

The image is taken from a book entitled “Passing The Flame”. Published back in 2013, it maps out the history of the top City outfit that was founded in 1838.

Law buffs may be interested to hear that this photo was taken prior to the firm’s merger with Paine, Blyth & Huxtable in 1920, when it was known as Linklater & Co. Amid global expansion, the firm shortened its name to the now more recognisable Linklaters in 1999.