Legal Business Blogs

Female empowerment – which firms are best at championing women?

In recent years the Legal 500 has made a concerted push to boost female representation across our rankings, dedicating much effort to identifying the best women at all levels of seniority, from rising stars to Hall of Famers.

But as UK editor Georgina Stanley said five years ago, we were always going to need the help of law firms to do this, given the central role that law firm submissions and peer recommendations play in our research. Thankfully, that help has been more than forthcoming from many firms, enabling us to consistently increase the proportion of women in our UK rankings, which are now 42% female.

So for International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a light on the firms which were most successful in making the case for their female lawyers to be added to the rankings last year.

To represent a fair cross-section of the UK legal market, we broke firms down into three groups – those with more than 50 rankings, those with 20-50 rankings, and those with up to 20 rankings – and ordered them by how much their tally of female lawyers grew last year.

Among firms with more than 50 UK rankings, CMS and Addleshaw Goddard came out joint top, boosting their number of ranked women by 12, with Freeths in third on 10.

For the mid-tier of firms with 20 to 50 rankings, Birketts came out top on six, and there were also strong showings from the firms with fewer than 20 rankings, led by Leigh Day and DMH Stallard, both of which increased their total female rankings by five.

With UK research well underway once more, our researchers will be on the lookout for more deserving candidates, so please do continue to speak up about your success stories.