Chapmans tops women's league

Sports and litigation firm James Chapman & Co is billing itself as the leading practice for women in Manchester.

The firm currently has 13 female partners – more than 50 per cent of the total and one of its joint managing partners is a woman.

According to a survey of Manchester firms, Berrymans Lace Mawer is the second highest employer of women partners with more than one third of partners female. Pannone & Partners comes third. It has 17 women partners – 32 per cent of its total.

Of Manchester's larger firms Addleshaw Booth & Co is far down the scale with women making up 12.5 per cent of the partner total.

Mark Jones, managing partner at Addleshaw Booth & Co, says partners are appointed by going through a fair business process.

He adds: “I would be concerned if there were women lawyers who felt they could not achieve partner level at the firm because of their gender. But I do not think that is the case.”

Liz Taylor, joint managing partner at James Chapman & Co, believes she is lucky not to have encountered discrimination in her career.

She says: “When I joined James Chapman it had been going for about 100 years, but it was quite small.

“The senior partner was also in his mid-30s. Partners now are much younger and have been at university with women, so they are used to things being equal.”

Taylor, commenting on the fact that she was pregnant when she was made up to the level of partner, says: “I don't know how many firms in the 1980s would have done the same thing.”

The survey was conducted by the Manchester Evening News.