Firms with the fewest women pay the most money

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Burden lies with top-paying outfits to attract more women, researchers say

New data reveals that law firms with the lowest percentage of female partners pay, on average, in excess of £90,000 on qualification, whereas those firms with more female partners than men pay about half that.

The graph below, produced by Chambers Student, shows the correlation of firms grouped by percentage of female partners and average newly qualified (NQ) salaries. As the number of women decreases the money goes up — sharply.

Image credit: Chambers Student

The pattern is similar when we look at firms grouped by the percentage of female associates, as demonstrated in the graph below.

NQs at firms with the smallest percentage of female associates, 30-40%, stand to make about £90,000. Firms with 40-50% female associates make, on average, about £95,000, the money decreasing from there as the percentage of women increases. “This correlation is no great surprise,” the research says. “We’ve always known that the highest paying practices in the City are the most male-dominated, but the variance in earnings is much starker than expected and the correlation much stronger.”

Image credit: Chambers Student

Law firm type is the “greatest problem in the gender pay gap”, according to the researchers, who questioned 87 outfits across the United Kingdom.

US firms and magic circle firms, the data says, pay the highest NQ salaries overall — yet they have the smallest percentage of women. By contrast, City firms, non-City London firms and national firms have more women, percentage-wise, but pay less money.

While the researchers welcome the big firms’ allocation of time and money to gender pay problems, they think “the burden lies principally with the international finance and corporate firms to offer a more appealing environment for women to practise in”.

The 2018 Firms Most List

This report comes as a number of City firms have begun to release their gender pay gap figures.

So far, Bird & Bird, CMS, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, Pinsent Masons, Shoosmiths and Taylor Wessing have all revealed that the average hourly rate of its female staff members is lower than the average hourly rate for its males. This average hourly rate takes into account all employees, so will include lower-paid roles like PAs, caterers and other support staff. The distribution of roles within law firms, i.e. lower-paid roles typically being taken by women, has a big impact on these figures.

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Altogether now. 1, 2, 3…



BPTC student

I think you mean “all together”. “Altogether” is a different expression altogether.



Someone hasn’t got laid for a long time…



Not your mum.



Bitch, you couldn’t handle my mum.


No, you’re right, because I don’t need an STI.


Fair enough. Why would you need one more disease?


One? She wishes.


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


In essence the best firms pay the most money, well knock me down with a feather! Where is proof of gender or sex based discrimination?


Major Thom

Does this include men pretending to be women pretending to be men pretending to be women?



Women don’t generate as much money as men and are more interested in just spending it.






Stupid women why arent you slogging your guts out to earn more money


Patricia Jane

If you are including support staff as well as lawyers in these figures then they are skewed and meaningless. This is because support staff work fixed hours and are, as you point out, predominantly female). This is therefore a misleading article: the comments prove that, as a number of them make fake hay with the (erroneous) assumption that women lawyers somehow work less hard. This kind of badly expressed approach to reporting facts can be very damaging – as the wrong message can linger on. Sort it out, Legal Cheek.



Poor article – you put forward no reasons for why this may be, instead just repeating the data and some graphs.

Also, why no mention of Lady Hale, legal related cakes or any memes?

D –



Lady Hale makes just £200k after decades of pitiful academic wages.



What does Amal Clooney earn please? Without this information this articles is useless.



Enough to buy some lovely dresses. That’s the main thing.



Of course darling, appearance is everything you know


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



It makes sense. Women get pregnant which is ultimately a cost. Why do people ask “any plans for children” at interview? Wrong and discriminatory as it is, the reason it is asked is because women who get pregnant generally cost an employer more money than what a man of comparable qualifications would cost them.



My alternative headline:
‘Firms with the least women make the most money.’






“Burden lies with top-paying outfits to attract more women, researchers say”

And that’s why they’re researchers, destroying wealth in academia instead of creating it in the private sector.

I say the burden is on these parasites to convince everyone else why private enterprise should deviate from the profit motive to accommodate an arbitrary and utopian ideal of gender parity.



I prefer the headline:

“Your profits will suffer if you employ women”

Please discuss.


Cynical Cynthia

Where’s the causation, Katie?

I for one am not surprised by this. Firms with too many females in them are less profitable because they become weak, flabby, and lose half of their senior associates before they become partners. The right % of females in a firm is 40%.



It’s really simple.

Men tend to run on logic and facts.

Women tend to run on feelings and emotions.

Profit is generated by rational decision-making – not emotion.

So, the more women in a business, the less profit it is likely to make.



Since chambers took on a woman to run it, our profitability dropped hugely.



That’s nothing. My country took on a woman to run it.

She threw open the borders and invited an entire continent to walk in…



It’s time for men to take back control.



Pay peanuts, get monkeys



What is this article trying to achieve?

Men are more profitable?

Hire women & halve your profits?

Men run better businesses than women?

Katie King does not understand this, or any, topic?

Got the last one nailed!


Corbyn. Symphathiser

I was sent here when I said “Siri, show me a thread with a load of sexist comments”.



I was sent here when I said “Alexa, show me a limp-wristed soyabean-consuming white man”


Corbyn. Symphathiser

Piss off bourgeois oppressor!


Corbyn. Symphathiser

Did you not think to ask for a stop off at a humour website to pick up some tips first?



What a lot of scared little boys there are in law!



Yeah, scared of you lot lowering our profitability…


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