Women leaders: Women of the revolution

Women leaders: Women of the revolution

‘There’s finally a new wave of senior leadership and it’s in the form of smart women. Whatever the reason, I think it’s great that we have a number across the City right now.’
Natasha Harrison, deputy chair and managing partner of Boies Schiller Flexner

‘I don’t like the gender divide. Everyone should be treated equally. There are a lot of good male leaders out there too. It would really piss me off if I thought I was only appointed because I’m a woman.’
Female London law firm leader Continue reading “Women leaders: Women of the revolution”

The Legal 500 View: The gender agenda: the rankings and firms making progress on diversity

The Legal 500 View: The gender agenda: the rankings and  firms making progress on diversity

Legal 500 editors Georgina Stanley and Ben Wheway take an in-depth look at gender diversity in the latest Legal 500 London rankings

‘Institutional male dominance is hard to shift – it isn’t enough to want to change; sometimes these things are structural,’ says Travers Smith disputes partner Caroline Edwards (pictured) of the difficulties women lawyers can face trying to build their profile in the legal market and the directories that reflect it, including The Legal 500. Continue reading “The Legal 500 View: The gender agenda: the rankings and firms making progress on diversity”

Record year for ethnic minorities in latest silk round but number of female applicants falls

Record year for ethnic minorities in latest silk round but number of female applicants falls

Clydes, HSF, Freshfields and White & Case arbitration partners among new QCs

A record 22 applicants from ethnic minority backgrounds have been elevated to Queen’s Counsel (QC) in the latest round from a total 114 taking silk. But while the overall number of new silks is up 6% from 108 last year, the number of female applicants fell slightly. Continue reading “Record year for ethnic minorities in latest silk round but number of female applicants falls”

Scotland: Art of the possible

Scotland: Art of the possible

Wherever you look, there are women filling legal roles that had previously appeared closed to them in Scotland: Lorna Jack has been chief executive of the Law Society since 2009; Lady Dorrian has been Lord Justice Clerk – the country’s second-most senior judge – since 2016; and Angela Grahame QC has been vice-dean of the Faculty of Advocates for three years, the second woman to hold the role but the first to have been competitively elected to it.

At the same time, practically all the big independent firms are now either led or co-led by a woman, many for the first time in their history. At Brodies, chair Christine O’Neill works alongside managing partner Nick Scott; Burness Paull is co-led by managing partner Tamar Tammes and chair Peter Lawson; while Morton Fraser chair Maggie Moodie manages the firm along with chief executive Chris Harte. Continue reading “Scotland: Art of the possible”

Mind the gap(s) – more of the same old inequality and fudged statistics prevalent in Big Law

Mind the gap(s) – more of the same old inequality and fudged statistics prevalent in Big Law

The second season of gender pay gap reporting has again laid bare the stark disparities between men and women throughout the legal sector. However, with only two rounds of reporting to look at so far, the trajectory of pay equality in legal is still difficult to ascertain. Instead, conversations have turned to the value of reporting gender pay in of itself, particularly given the lack of common methodology in gauging the numbers.

These concerns are not new to the latest reporting round. In March 2018 Pinsent Masons senior partner Richard Foley (pictured) criticised the current regime’s lack of consistency in reporting benchmarks. The Law Society later in November 2018 called for uniformity in gender reporting, publishing guidelines on how firms could provide more clarity on the issue. Recommendations included firms distinguishing between equity and non-equity partners, publishing a full-time equivalent (FTE) compensation gap based on the full financial year and reporting on partner bonus schemes. Continue reading “Mind the gap(s) – more of the same old inequality and fudged statistics prevalent in Big Law”

In-house leaders sign letter urging law firms to ramp up diversity efforts

In-house leaders sign letter urging law firms to ramp up diversity efforts

A group of 65 general counsel (GCs) spanning major companies from the UK and Europe has collectively signed a letter urging law firms to improve their diversity efforts.

Among those to have lent their support to the statement are Shell GC Donny Ching, Vodafone group GC Rosemary Martin (pictured), Unilever’s chief legal officer Ritva Sotamaa, Anglo American group GC Richard Price and BHP Billiton group GC Caroline Cox. Continue reading “In-house leaders sign letter urging law firms to ramp up diversity efforts”

The future is female – women lawyers outnumber men in UK as the in-house boom continues

The future is female – women lawyers outnumber men in UK as the in-house boom continues

In a landmark for the legal industry that nevertheless raises some uncomfortable truths, the number of working female solicitors in England and Wales has exceeded men for the first time according to new figures.

Reflecting the decades-long influx of junior women to the profession, the total number of women lawyers in the world’s second largest legal market is now 50.1% of the UK’s 139,624 practising certificate (PC) holders, and 48% of the 93,155 solicitors in private practice. Continue reading “The future is female – women lawyers outnumber men in UK as the in-house boom continues”

An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate

An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: How is the market generally?

Lee Ranson, Eversheds Sutherland: Most of the managing partners around this table will say it was a better 2017 than expected. We had some of our highest numbers against a budget where we were very, very wary with Brexit and uncertainty. Very strange. We are going into a new budget now and management is more cautious than the practitioners. Continue reading “An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate”

Gender diversity: pay gaps revealed at Addleshaw Goddard, Mishcon de Reya and Gowling WLG

Gender diversity: pay gaps revealed at Addleshaw Goddard, Mishcon de Reya and Gowling WLG

A fuller picture of the legal industry’s gender pay gap issue is emerging as Addleshaw Goddard, Mishcon de Reya and Gowling WLG become the latest firms to reveal big earnings disparities.

Gender pay brackets at Addleshaw – published Tuesday (13 March) ahead of the 4 April deadline required by legislation brought in last year – reveal the firm paid its male staff on average 43.2% more in bonuses than women for the year to 5 April 2017. The median bonus figure was 33.3%. Continue reading “Gender diversity: pay gaps revealed at Addleshaw Goddard, Mishcon de Reya and Gowling WLG”