For the first time ever, more than a third of all partners in the UK’s second 100 firms are female, according to The Lawyer’s UK 200 data.

The average proportion of women in the partnerships of the Independents was 33.4 per cent last year, up from 31 per cent in 2015/16. That compares to 24.8 per cent among the top 100 firms in 2016/17.

Within the second 100 firms, nine have a partnership where the number of women is equal to or greater than the number of men. In comparison there are just four firms in this group in the top 100.

Women represent between 33.3 per cent and 49.9 per cent of the partnership in a further 36 firms.

Hodge Jones & Allen’s partnership is 70.5 per cent female, a similar proportion to the previous year and topping the diversity tables for the entire UK 200.

Just two Independents – volume firms Bott & Co and Drydensfairfax – had no female partners last year. Yorkshire firm Schofield Sweeney has the smallest female partnership of the traditional firms, with just three women among its 30 partners.

The Lawyer UK 200: The Independents report is one of five reports in The UK 200 series. To purchase any of these reports please contact either Gilberto Esgaio on +44 207 970 4191 or or Letitia Austin on +44 207 970 4662 or