‘Male partners at top law firms paid 24% more than females’

Women in Law

 

Male partners at law firms are paid 24% more than female partners, according to a survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa.

The survey is based on responses from partners representing 67 firms in the Magic Circle, the top 30 UK firms and the AmLaw 100 firms with London offices.

Female partners reported earning an average of £502,841 annually, compared to an average of £667,521 earned by male partners. The survey shows factors other than the ability to generate revenue appear to account for the majority of the gender pay gap. It also reveals a gap in perception of gender bias between men and women. While over half of the partners surveyed feel that bias plays a role when it comes to determining pay, female partners are more likely to identify bias at their firm and much more likely to identify gender bias than male partners (37% vs. 8%).

“This data highlights that we still have a long way to go before we reach compensation parity for women in law firms,” said Nick Paleocrassas of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Partner Practice Group. “While the survey brings to light many positives, particularly that City partners overall feel relatively satisfied and fulfilled, it also accentuates some of the challenges that come with practising law at the highest level.”

Additional matters relating to partner compensation were also examined, such as willingness to trade compensation for other benefits, perceived bias impacting compensation and transparency of remuneration structure and compensation system.

Other key findings include:

  • City partners report higher levels of overall satisfaction when factoring earnings into their considerations.
  • More than half (55%) of the participants would trade in a portion of their earnings for another benefit. The most desired benefit is more time off, followed by a more flexible work schedule and reduced billable hours. 47% of men reported that they would not trade compensation for other benefits vs. 39% of women.
  • Only one third of partners know whether their firm has calculated its gender pay gap. Visibility appears limited even among firms that have calculated the gender pay gap, with few partners able to confidently state the value of the gap.
  • There is clear correlation between openness of the compensation structure and partners’ satisfaction with their compensation.

 



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