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Female Lawyers Paid £50k Less than Men - But Gap is Narrowing

Posted by: Laurence Simons 30/01/13
  • Female lawyers’ average total remuneration is 68% that of men
  • Average female bonus is half that of men
  • While male incomes have fallen £5k over the last year, women’s have risen £1,300
  • Number of female Magic Circle partners has risen

The average female lawyer is paid £51,396 less per year than the average male lawyer according to the 2013 Market Report from specialist legal recruiter Laurence Simons. The research among in-house and private practice lawyers found men received total remuneration of £162,689 in 2012 compared with £111,293 for women.

This difference extends to both bonuses and salaries. Female lawyers receive half the average male bonus - £23,622 for women compared with £47,496 for men. In terms of salary, women receive £87,671 compared with £115,193 for men, meaning women receive 76% of the average male salary.

However this gap is narrowing, as men have seen a fall in total remuneration of £5,228 from £167,917 since last year and women have seen a rise in total pay of £1,391 in the past year from £109,912 in 2011.

Lucinda Moule, Managing Director at Laurence Simons said,
“There is a long way to go to equalise pay between the genders. A situation where women are earning two thirds as much as their male colleagues is a stark imbalance that will need to be addressed. However it is positive to see the gap narrowing and perhaps is indicative of the efforts that organisations are making to rectify the remuneration disparities.”

Female Partners
Over the past year there has been a 2% rise in the proportion of female partners at the UK’s Magic Circle firms from 16% last year to 18% currently. Linklaters has the highest proportion of female partners at 22%.

“It’s encouraging to see female board representation rising, albeit slowly. Almost a fifth of the people at the top of the best legal firms in the UK are women, offering a shining example to those further down the ladder. In my opinion the first step to achieving more female representation at the top, and at a faster rate is equalising pay, this will enable firms to secure talent and improve employee retention.”