The Magic Circle – a female-free zone

The Times newspaper reports today (from behind its paywall – sorry!) that Clifford Chance MAY become the UK’s first magic circle law firm to appoint a woman as senior partner.

Which means that Clifford Chance, along with Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May – the 5 biggest law firms in the UK – have NO females currently at the upper echelon of their partnerships.

The Times says that:

“Only a handful of the City’s top law firms have been run by women despite recent efforts to increase their number in senior posts. Dame Janet Gaymer, the Commissioner for Public Appointments, was senior partner of Simmons & Simmons for five years until 2006 and Lesley MacDonagh was managing partner of Lovells for a decade until 2005. None of the top 20 firms has a woman as senior or managing partner.”

Recent efforts? How hard can it be to be fair? Or are these firms going to try to argue that the female candidates who doubtless have run for such lofty positions in the past are simply never as good as their male colleagues?

Poor form.


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