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Women are more likely to make the partnership at mid-market and silver circle firms, analysis of partnership promotions at the UK’s top 20 firms by The Lawyer reveals today.
Addleshaw Goddard made up nine this year, of whom six of were women, while Denton Wilde Sapte promoted 12, of whom almost half were women.
Pinsent Masons and Ashurst both made up seventeen female associates, and Herbert Smith eighteen. At all three of these firms, women comprised a third of the new partners.
Promotion prospects for female associates at magic circle firms are poor in comparison. Linklaters and Allen & Overy both promoted 28, of whom are five at each firm were women, while female associates at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer fared only slightly better, constituting a fifth of the 25 made up.
However Clifford Chance, the world’s largest firm by turnover, has emerged as the magic circle’s worst promoter of female lawyers, with women numbering just three among its 35 new partners, or 8.6 per cent.
This is the same proportion as the total number of female partners the firm made up in 1992 when The Lawyer began collating statistics on partnerships. At that time Clifford Chance had just 19 female partners out of a total partnership of 220.
Partnership prospects for women in the mid-market are not universally positive, however. Norton Rose promoted 16, of whom just one was a woman, while CMS Cameron McKenna also made up just one out of a total of 11 new partners.
The greatest absolute number of female promotions is at DLA Piper, which made up 24 globally at the beginning of this year, out of a total of promotions of 69.