Female partners in London earn £165,000 less than male counterparts

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Gender bias and nepotism still present, partners think

New data shows female partners in London earn an average of £502,841, compared to men’s £667,521. That’s a difference of £164,680 or one quarter.

The majority of female partners practising in the capital (68%) are paid less than £499,000, while the same is true of 46% of men. Twenty-eight percent of men earn somewhere between half a million and a million, while 19% earn even more than that. In stark contrast, just 11% of female partners earn an average of between £500,0000 and £999,000, while 15% have a salary above this.

The statistics, from legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, are based on 180 responses from 67 firms (128 men and 47 women). These respondents were also asked about perceived bias in pay and, shockingly, only 38% thought their firm doesn’t exercise any type of bias.

Image credit: Major, Lindsey & Africa

Cronyism — awarding promotions to friends — was the most commonly-cited perceived bias, name checked by 48% of women and 36% of men. As for gender bias, 37% of women identified this at their firm, compared to 8% of men. Other perceived biases listed include: bias against home-grown partners, bias against laterals, sexual orientation bias and racial bias.

Gender pay is a hot topic as of late, not least thanks to the imposition of new government regulations which make pay gap reporting at big organisations compulsory.

The 2018 Firms Most List

A number of City firms have already made their median pay statistics public in compliance with these regulations. We’ve learnt Herbert Smith Freehills, for example, pays its female staff, on average, an hourly rate which is 39% less than its male staff. Median female pay is 33% lower than male pay at CMS and 13% at Shoosmiths. However, do note the distribution of roles at these firms has a big impact on the figures.

Lawyers and law students may be interested to know that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has also recently released its gender pay gap data. The CPS, which offers both training contracts and pupillages, has revealed it pays its women an hourly rate 25% lower than men’s median. Interestingly, however, 59% of people in the CPS’s top payroll quartile are women (while they also make up 70% of people in the lower quartile). Women’s bonus pay is 1.7% lower than men’s.

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Nobody gives a shit. They have probably worked less hours to get there on average.



Fewer, you misogynistic troglodyte.



Men work longer on average over their career than women.
They are also much better qualified in terms of useful qualifications be it STEM or trade. An MA is useless. The areas they choose to work in are also more lucrative.
These are facts and facts don’t care about your feelings or rantings.

I could call you a Misandric troglodyte, but it would be as silly as your childish use of the term misogynist.



Quite a lot of people give a shit, actually.

Btw babe, it’s ‘fewer’ hours.




Great. Then you’ll be happy to know that the Gender wage gap has been scientifically debunked so many times that it verges on the ridiculous. One of the many factors that explains any difference is that men, over their career work longer than women. It’s fact. Facts don’t care about your feelings.


Proud BME Trans Woman

Just another attempt to distract from the real issues of transphobia, racism and homophobia. Here’s a hint – YOU ARE NOT OPPRESSED, WHITE WOMEN! *YOU* ARE THE BENEFICIARIES OF WHITE PRIVILEGE!



Preach sister! I am sick of listening to all these female partners bitching while, in the same breath, criticising people like Diane Abbott. Clueless hypocrites!



STFU you clueless gimp. Nobody cares.



Trans woman? Isn’t that an oxymoron?



Meanwhile, you’re just a moron.



Not an oxymoron, but this time probably a cry for attention.



Stop playing the victim.


Black Power!

Fuck off you racist bitch and leave your black lords to run the show.


alex’s long suffering mummy

So you’re a black / mixed dude who claims to be a woman? In terms of gender, you’ve literally gone from most privileged (cis man) to least (trans woman) just by saying so. Isn’t that ridiculous?



I would re-think your post after a read of the Human Rights Act, bigot.


alex’s long suffering mummy

How dare you, I’m a trans woman.

I mean, I was born male, and still am, but my handle on here is female



how humiliating for you alex….


This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Poe’s Law.



Lap Woes



They tend to work fewer hours and take more time off so it’s fair game until men get equality in other areas too



Pretty sure men would want time off too if they had to carry a kicking, sickness-inducing sack of potatoes around in their abdomens for 9 months and then keep it alive for years to come.


Charlotte Proudlady

Wah wah wah “but but but male privilege, the patriarchy!” blah blah wah



Just Anonymous

“We’ve learnt Herbert Smith Freehills, for example, pays its female staff an hourly rate which is 39% less than its male staff.“

At best, this sentence is misleading. At worst, it is defamatory.

The 39% is the difference in AVERAGE hourly rates. Something which can occur because more women are in lower paid roles, for example.

You have effectively alleged that HSF pays men and women differently for the same work. I don’t think you have evidence to support that assertion.



I don’t do evidence babes. Just clickbait.



“However, do note the distribution of roles at these firms has a big impact on the figures.”

This little nugget was buried deep in the article. Is this not the key to the whole thing?



I have pointed this out on one of her previous articles.

The innocent explanation is always buried near the bottom of the article and the lurid claims put near the top.

Buzzfeed-tier clickbait, as ever.



Aren’t most law firm partnership compensation packages lockstep? Which means that everyone is paid equally according to their seniority as a partner (subject to work performance bonuses)?

It’s hard to get a more equal-outcome payment system than this.



The lockstep system at many large firms are altered to consider many factors for equity partners. These can include drawings in relation to the value of their client list and the amount of hours they actually bill. The former usually being more relevant than the former.

Lockstep firms usually keep salaries on par for seniority with discretionary bonuses (unless the partners are cheap knobs).


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