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Women make partnership breakthrough

5th May 2017

Whilst international and silver circle firms have promoted more women in this year’s round of promotions, magic circle firms are behind on gender diversity.

International firm Norton Rose Fulbright is among the firms leading the way on gender diversity in its senior ranks, with women making up more than a third of promotions in the latest round of partner appointments. The firm has made up 45 partners worldwide, including 18 women (40%).

Norton Rose Fulbright, an international firm, is among those paving the way for gender diversity amongst its senior ranks. In the latest round of partner appointments, women now make up more than a third of promotions.

48 lawyers have been promoted to partner across 26 offices globally by CMS, who are due to combine with Nabarro and Olswang today. 13 (27%) of those promoted are female.

A further four women were promoted by silver circle firm Ashurst, 21% of the 19 lawyers it promoted to partners. The firm has previously said that it wants at least 40% of all partner promotions to be women by 2018.

In this year’s round of promotions, magic circle firms are trailing on gender diversity. Only four of 24 new partners (17%) are women at Clifford Chance. However, one of the ‘key long-term priorities’ for the firm is to eventually balance the partnership’s gender disparity, according to a spokesman of the firm. It is aiming to have women making up at least 30% of its partners.

Clifford Chance went on to stress that the percentage of women in the global partnership has risen from 15% to 19% since 2012, and the London partnership is now 21% female.

Promotions at Clifford Chance this year will take effect from the 1st of May. New partners based in London are Jonathan Kewley, Matt Taylor, James Bole, Owen Lysak, Timothy Cleary and David Robson.

Allen & Overy’s new partner intake was over 90% male, according to a report last week. Only two of the 24 promotions were women.

Top 50 UK firm TLT also disclosed that it had promoted eight members to partner status, and of this number three are women (37.5%).