MP slams Allen & Overy over refusal to ‘come clean’ on partner gender pay gap data

By on

As Freshfields and Slaughter and May reveal figures to select committee

Magic circle law firm Allen & Overy has been hammered by the chair of a parliamentary select committee after it refused to hand over its partner gender pay data.

Last week, Legal Cheek reported that the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee had requested partnership data from all five magic circle firms. Linklaters and Clifford Chance had already included the stats in their public pay reports, while Freshfields and Slaughter and May complied when written to by the committee.

Allen & Overy, by contrast, declined. A spokesperson for the firm told Legal Cheek: “We had not included partners’ compensation in the calculations for our first report, based on data to 5 April 2017. However, we are currently working on a gender pay gap report for the year ended 5 April 2018, which will include information on our partners, and have already committed to publish it in September.”

Allen & Overy’s move hasn’t gone down well with the committee’s chair, Rachel Reeves. In a scathing statement issued yesterday, Reeves accused Allen & Overy of refusing to “come clean” and “dragging its feet” over partner pay figures. The MP for Leeds West said:

“It will surprise no-one that including partners in reporting reveals a wider gender pay gap. The picture wasn’t a pretty one but the Big Four accountancy firms at least acknowledged the problem by including partner data, a social duty which somehow escaped, with some exceptions, the major law firms. Allen & Overy can’t even come clean on its partner data now. It’s easy to talk the talk on diversity and inclusion but if a business is dragging its feet on providing even basic information about its gender pay gap then it begs the question of how seriously it takes its responsibilities to valuing all its staff and how dedicated it is to committing to promote female associates to partner level.”

Reeves went on to claim the global outfit had been able to “exploit” weaknesses in the reporting requirements and that the committee would be making recommendations to “ensure that businesses are taking their responsibilities on fair pay seriously”.

The 2018 Firms Most List

Reeves statement was published alongside the magic circle’s written responses to the committee’s request. The letters — which can be viewed below — reveal some previously unseen partner pay gap data.

Anglo-German giant Freshfields reported a mean pay gap, inclusive of partners, of 60.4%, while at Slaughter and May it was 61.8%. Both outfits had omitted partner figures when disclosing their pay gap data under the Equality Act regulations earlier this year. Clifford Chance and Linklaters included partner data in their public gender pay reports, posting mean results of 66.3% and 60.3% respectively. In March, Allen & Overy released a mean hourly pay gap 19.8%, excluding partners.

View Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Linklaters and Slaughter and May’s letters to the committee.


Not Amused

Given that the entire ‘issue’ is at best a distortion of the English language, just how scared of a posturing MP should any company be?

On stories on the ‘issue’ reported in the guardian, the most positively rated comments by guardian readers are regularly those denouncing the argument. If even the guardian readers think this is made up nonsense then surely at some point the egoists in parliament and the media who are pushing this agenda will just stop.

No one believes there is wide spread discrimination. We are the best and most liberal we have ever been, and quite possibly that any human society has ever been. People can, rightly, achieve regardless of their sex.



Being scorned by a committee of jobsworth politicians is oh-so-scary.



UK politicians are absolute cuckolds anyway, no real company fears them because the real ones in charge aren’t the politicians



very true.



Should read:

MP’s realise they left big loophole in legislation.

Let’s face it, the MP’s are only going to use the information to slag off and discredit the firm, why would anyone in their right mind voluntarily disclose this information.




The whole thing is pointless as firms with less than 250 employees (which is about 95% of all firms) do not have to do it at all. As with all companies the vast majority of people are employed by lots of small companies rather than a small number of big companies.

We have 4 equity partners, 2 men and 2 women. We are all on an equal 25% share. That is because we are all of the same level of experience and billing power, so thats what we agreed if we set up. If we took on a new partner with less experience and billing power, they would be on a lower share regardless of gender.

Our three employees are all female. 2 are on the same wage as they are both senior solicitors. The third is a trainee and so is (obviously) on a lower wage.

It’s a completley meaningless excersie to only collect data from 5% of employors as, even if you think the gender pay gap is a thig, what does that actually tell you about whether it exists and what the reasons for it may be if you ignore what the vast majority of employees / partners are actually being paid!



Exactly this.

Stupid regulations like this simply increase the burden on businesses and ultimately make the UK look less and less attractive.

After all, why would you choose the UK to establish your business? High labour rates, quite high taxes, a whole spiders web of legislation and so on.


The Brown Knight

Legislation is only problematic when it’s blocked by the supreme court. It undemocratic. The court of appeal has little power and the parliament acts of 1945 and 1911 do little to remedy the position.


Corbyn. Sympathiser

Vote Corbyn and end poverty and terrorism and sexual harassment






Corbyn. Sympathiser

OMG Racist!!!


Professor Monkeymoowoo

250 employees is nothing special. I used to commute into London daily to a company with more than 600 employees and many were unbelievably important.


Judge hobosexual

That’s nothing, I employ 25,000 people using court funds! And I’m a hobo with no GCSEs!


Corbyn. Sympathiser

No one is saying women shouldn’t work. That would be OTT.

Women deserve the same chances as men.

In fact, women should have more chances to work before they stop to.look.after their family. So men ultimately have a proper career. But women should be able to at least enjoy the workplace for a bit before becoming homemakers. Men however do need to earn more because they have to work beyond child birth and will have to provide for the family in financial terms.






love you beard man :))


Jobbie Travers

Pay gap does not exist.


Comments are closed.

Related Stories