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Pinsents calls for level playing field and more transparency as it reveals partners gender pay gap

Pinsent Masons has disclosed the earnings gap that hands male partners 22% more than female colleagues on average as it calls for changes to the gender pay reporting regime ahead of next year.

The top 25 UK law firm has taken the unusual step of disclosing its gender pay gap figures with reference to its partnership numbers. The partnership numbers reveal it pays male partners more than a fifth more on average, and 38% more on a median basis. Its bonus pay gap, however, sees female partners receive 11% more on average while the bonus pay gap is 0% on a median basis.

Its already-disclosed statutory gender pay gap filing – excluding partners – shows the firm has a 22% pay gap on both average and median basis. The bonus gap is 47% on average, and 40% median. The firm’s overall numbers, therefore, give the firm an average gender pay gap of 58%, reducing to 43% on a median basis, and a bonus pay gap of 52% on average, reducing to 50% for the median.

Pinsents senior partner Richard Foley said that following the firm’s statutory pay gap disclosure in February, a perception was hardening that lawyers and accountants are trying to duck the issue by not publishing their partner numbers.

Foley also criticised the current regime for allowing too much inconsistency in reporting benchmarks. As such, Foley said Pinsents would engage with the Law Society and other City law firms to seek changes from the government.

He added: ‘It cannot be right that partnerships have no common methodology and thus have to pick and choose what to report. Only by achieving consistency can we create a level playing field and secure the transparency expected of us by our people, our clients and the wider public.’

On Pinsents’ own gap, Foley said the numbers affirmed that not enough women were making it into senior positions within the profession. The firm’s female partnership had grown to 25% from 17% five years ago, with many in leadership roles.

‘To be clear, we are confident that we pay male and female partners and employees equitably. Many factors influence remuneration, from the geographic spread of our people to the discipline in which they practise.’

Firms have until 4 April to disclose their figures, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer becoming the latest to disclose its last week, revealing it was performing well ahead of its Magic Circle peers.