Allen & Overy at back-end of gender diversity league table as magic circle giant reveals just 8% of its new partners are female

Avatar photo

By Katie King on

On the other hand, Pinsents and Mishcon have made up 60%+ female partners

Allen & Overy has announced it has promoted 24 of its lawyers to partner level. Just two (8%) of them are women.

The magic circle outfit is one of many firms to pledge its commitment to gender diversity in its top ranks by setting a target, for Allen & Overy one of 20% female partners globally by 2020. However, this week’s promotion results show the firm may be some way off meeting this. The firm has expressed its “disappointment” with the figures in the legal press.

Looking at the capital in isolation, Allen & Overy made up 10 new London partners this year. Only one (10%) is female. In very stark contrast, last year 50% of the firm’s lucky London-based newbie partners were women.

A number of other firms have also posted partner promotion figures with low female numbers.

Addleshaw Goddard, for example, made up five new partners (two in the United Kingdom); none are women. Berwin Leighton Paisner’s 2017 result is also 0%, with all four of its new partners male. Allen & Overy’s magic circle rival Linklaters has promoted 26 new partners across the globe. Five of these are female (19%), with two based alongside six new male partners (25%) in the firm’s London base. The firm has pledged a 30% female partnership by 2018.

Clyde & Co has posted similar international stats. Two of its nine newbies are female, meaning the firm sits on a par with Fieldfisher at 22%.

However, these two outfits are poles apart when it comes to their UK-only results. Clyde & Co made up three UK partners; two are female (67%). Fieldfisher made up eight UK partners; two are female (25%).

Making our way towards higher percentages, Herbert Smith Freehills boasts a 29% score this year, and sits just below Macfarlanes on 33%. The former made up nine partners in the UK, two of which are female (22%).

Slaughter and May is in the forties internationally (43%), though just one of its five new London partners is a female (20%). Unlike the two other magic circle firms to release its 2017 data so far, Slaughter and May does not have a formal gender diversity target.

The two firms to promote more women this year than they did men, so far anyway, are Mishcon de Reya (67%) and Pinsent Masons. The latter made 16 new partner promotions in 2017, 11 of which are female (69%). This means the firm has now reached its target of a 25% female partnership by 2018.

2017 partner promotions so far, listed by international female partner percentage:

Name of firm New female partners (international) New female partners (UK) Does this firm have a female partners target?
Pinsent Masons 11/16, 69% 9/13, 69% 25% by 2018
Mishcon de Reya 2/3, 67% 2/3, 67% No
Slaughter and May 3/7, 43% 1/5, 20% No
Macfarlanes 1/3, 33% 1/3, 33% No
Herbert Smith Freehills 6/21, 29% 2/9, 22% 30% by 2019
Clyde & Co 2/9, 22% 2/3, 67% No
Fieldfisher 2/9, 22% 2/8, 25% No
Linklaters 5/26, 19% 2/8, 25% 30% by 2018
Allen & Overy 2/24, 8% 1/10, 10% 20% by 2020
Addleshaw Goddard 0/5, 0% 0/2, 0% 30% by 2019
BLP 0/4, 0% 0/2, 0% 30% by 2018

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub here.