City unbiased says Lewis

Norton Rose senior partner David Lewis has launched a public defence of City firms against the “anti-City hysterical outbursts” from “self-interest groups” complaining about sexual and racial discrimination.

In a letter to The Lawyer Lewis claims that a Law Society-commissioned study, which two weeks ago found nearly one in 10 females and just over one in 10 ethnic minority trainees faced discrimination, “suffers from regurgitating the same statistics based on the same student group year after year”.

Lewis says at Norton Rose the trainee intakes over the five years from 1995 “reveal a consistent 51/49 per cent split in favour of women”, while the percentage of ethnic minority trainees averaged 10 per cent.

The firm's Oxbridge intake varied between 18 and 33 per cent. “The impression that City firms' policy is to hire white male Oxbridge graduates is nonsense… we choose our trainees on merit and only on merit,” he concluded.

See letters page 14