14 law firms named on 2018 social mobility power list

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By Thomas Connelly on

Top 10 spots for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Baker McKenzie

Fourteen corporate law firms have secured places in this year’s social mobility power list.

Top-ranking law firms featured in the Social Mobility Index 2018 are Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, the highest placed City outfit for the second year running in fourth, Baker McKenzie and Linklaters in tenth and eleventh, and Herbert Smith Freehills in fifteenth, up 10 places from last year’s index.

Produced by the Social Mobility Foundation and Social Mobility Commission and backed by The City of London Corporation, the Index ranks the UK’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds.

Other outfits to secure positions on this year’s index are Freeths (19), Clifford Chance (22), Eversheds Sutherland (23), Hogan Lovells (36), DLA Piper (38), Pinsent Masons (41), HFW (44), Slaughter and May (45), Mayer Brown (47) and Dentons (48).

Away from corporate law, the Ministry of Justice scooped third place, while The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple secured twenty-fourth. Big Four accountancy giant KPMG took this year’s top spot.

The 2018 Firms Most List

The index is based on a voluntary and free survey that assesses employers across seven key areas including the work they do with young people, their recruitment and selection processes and how people from lower-income backgrounds progress within their organisations. Over 100 employers from 18 sectors, who collectively employ over one million people, entered for the 2018 Index.

Sir Nick Clegg, chairman of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “I’m delighted that so many organisations chose to participate in the Social Mobility Index this year. Improving social mobility across society is a collective endeavour — with government, schools, colleges, universities, families and businesses all pulling in the same direction.” He added:

“This year’s index shows that there is a growing appetite for employers to play their part — I warmly congratulate all those who did so, and I hope they will be joined by more employers in next year’s index.”

The legal profession’s strong showing on this year’s index comes despite recent research suggesting that privately-educated lawyers continue to dominate corporate law.

The stats, released earlier this year by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, show firms which mainly handle high-paying corporate work have the lowest proportion of state-educated solicitors, 56%. By contrast, 76% of lawyers in firms that mainly do litigation work are from state schools, while this figure is 77% for mainly-criminal outfits. Twenty-two percent of all lawyers attended fee-paying schools, the SRA data says, compared with 7% of the general population.

Social Mobility Employer Index 2018:

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