Linklaters becomes first magic circle firm to reveal gender pay gap data

 

Linklaters’ male employees are earning nearly 60% more in bonuses than women, according to the firm’s first gender pay report.

The report shows that while marginally more women (78%) than men (76%) received a bonus in the year to April 2017, men received on average 58% more in bonuses than women.

Average hourly pay is skewed in favour of men by 23%, rising to a difference of nearly 40% using a median average.

The firm is the first of the magic circle to report its gender pay gap data, ahead of an April reporting deadline for all companies employing more than 250 people. Law firms are not required to provide data about partners.

Linklaters has not separated the pay gap data between fee earners and support staff; however, the firm’s report notes that average pay for women across the firm is significantly impacted by the high number of female employees in its lowest earning group.

Just under 80% of those in its lowest pay quartile are women, as are 56% of those in the lower middle quartile. In contrast, women make up 45% of the upper quartile.

Explaining the significant difference in bonus pay between men and women, the report states: “Significantly more of our female colleagues work on a part-time basis than our male colleagues, which has had an impact on our bonus gap because the government has specified that bonus figures are calculated based on actual amounts paid, rather than on a full-time equivalent basis.

“While we still have some way to go, the gender balance in our upper, upper-middle and lower-middle pay quartiles is encouraging evidence that our efforts over recent years to attract and retain women in more senior roles have begun to pay off.”

The report also sets out details of the firm’s gender breakdown at more senior levels. Twenty-three percent of the firm’s UK partners are women, alongside 42% of its executive committee, 23% of its partnership board and 43% of its director group.

Linklaters’ disclosure comes after CMS, Herbert Smith Freehills and Shoosmiths last month became the first UK top 50 law firms to publish details of their gender pay gaps.

At CMS, the average UK hourly rate for women is 17.3% lower than men, marginally better than the UK-wide average of 18%. Bonus pay for women is on average 26.9% lower than men. At Shoosmiths, the pay gap is smaller, with the average hourly rate for women 15.4% lower than men. For bonus pay, the difference in mean earnings is 18%.

HSF’s pay gap data, meanwhile, revealed that the firm paid out 30% less in bonuses to its female employees than its male employees last year, alongside a near 20% gender pay gap in average hourly earnings between men and women.