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Gender Discrimination In UK Law Firms

gender discrimination
gender discrimination

Gender discrimination – or at least attempts to reduce the pay gap between male and female lawyers in UK law firms – has seen large firms disclose what the gap is.

Pay gap gender discrimination is a major issue in the US and the UK, as well as other jurisdictions and was highlighted with the recent $100 million US lawsuit brought against Chadbourne & Parke.

The similar figures for US law firms (other than those operating in the UK) are unavailable, but the gap remains large on average.

Regulations applying to businesses with over 250 employees require the pay gap figures to be disclosed and it appears some firms have gone further to disclose the facts in an effort to show the progress that has been made – or not, as the case may be.

The gap between the genders remains large in many firms, ranging from 27 per cent in the case of Clifford Chance to less than one per cent for Reed Smith.

Among the firms reporting U.K. pay gaps for partners in some of the major firms as reported by the ABA Journal are:

• Reed Smith: The average male partner is paid 0.8 percent more and receives a bonus that is 21.5 percent higher than the average female partner

• Norton Rose: The average male partner has a base paycheck 19 percent higher than the average female partner, but the average female partner had a bonus 38 percent higher than the average male partner.

• Dentons: The average male partner made 23 percent more than the average female partner. The figure is based on “fixed and variable payments.”

• Eversheds Sutherland: The average male lawyer employee made 4.8 percent more than the average female lawyer employee, and the average male lawyer employee made 18.2 percent more in bonuses. The average female equity partner made 10.3 percent more than the average male equity partner. The average fixed-share male partner made 4.5 percent more in pay than the average female fixed-share partner, and 10 percent more in bonuses.

• Clifford Chance: The average male partner makes 27.3 percent more than the average female partner.

The calls for change in the pay gap gender discrimination battle is building, although entrenched discrimination among the male dominated major law firms continues and there is clearly much to be done, particularly in the US where UK style laws requiring such data is absent.

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