Slaughter and May announced today that it would promote ten new partners in May. This from a firm that normally makes up only two or three.

It is the largest round of promotions since 2000 and all ten are in London. It puts Freshfields' most recent promotions in the shade. Although unlike Freshfields, only one of the ten is a woman.

Senior Partner Chris Saul told me that when he qualified in 1986 he was one of ten, but accepted that this was an unusally high number of partners to promote. That said, there was an unusually high number of fantastic candidates. He said that the shameful paucity of women in the round was entirely accidental: last year the split was 50/50, over the last five years (including this) 30% of new partners have been women and as of 10th May four of the firm's practice heads will be women.

All ten will see their pay jump to over a million a year overnight. Whatever happens in today's budget is unlikely to cause them much concern.


Read more on Friday.



Anonymous 18 March 16 09:43

It would be more surprising to find that any of those partners had any children whose names they could remember.

Anonymous 18 March 16 10:16

Only one of the ten is a woman. The Old Boys club lives on. How this could be "accidental" is beyond me.

Roll On Friday 18 March 16 10:44

When 90% of women solicitors marry lower earner non sexist men and 90% of men and only 10% of women go part time or stop work when babies come we might make a bit of progress.

Anonymous 18 March 16 11:38

Not sure about the photo and how a meeting of the new partners might look. It might look like that, but only if 30% of the new partners are in a gimp cage under the table. Either that or someone at ROF can't count.

Anonymous 20 March 16 07:31

Presumably it is 'accidental' (which is a very unfotunate choice of words) in the sense that they simply picked the best candidates (in their view) and they happened to be mainly men.

I suspect in many ways the slaughters method (i.e. tap on the shoulder with no real process) is less biased against women than the very formal processes the other big firms in the UK now all seem to run which are basically extended, vaguely confrontational interviews.

Unless the way law firms do business radically changes (i.e. the hours get much shorter), or society radically changes (so that men taking the lead on looking after children becomes normal) then we'll probably always have some sort of imbalance.

Anonymous 22 March 16 16:24

Well done Slaughter and May. I think that people should congratulate the firm for making so many partners, specially when most of them trained at the firm