Reading about ‘The 30% Club’ (13 onshore law firms (A&O, Ashurst, BLP, Clifford Chance, CMS, DWF, Eversheds, Freshfields, HSF, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright, Reed Smith and Slaughter and May) who committed to a 30% female partnership by 2020) we thought it would be interesting to take a look to see how the leading offshore law firms compare with their UK peers.

The general industry trend is that while there are a lot of junior female lawyers, senior positions are often dominated by men. Women account for just shy of 60% of trainee lawyers in the UK but this percentage drops dramatically when we look at partner level. There are many potentials reasons for this of course; for example studies have shown that women are less driven by title and that women see the law as a ‘career for life’ less than their male colleagues. Plus, although somewhat of a generalization, discussions around partnership promotions often occur around the same time as many people are looking at starting a family.

However it appears that things are improving, albeit slowly, in the onshore market.

Looking more closely at the offshore legal market and in particular the 10 largest offshore firms, female partner ratios compare favorably. According to data published in the Lawyer, The Offshore Top 30 Report percentages range from 17%-35%. Harneys lead the way with 35%, closely followed by Walkers (32%) and Conyers (31%). Maples and Calder and Appleby also boast figures of 25%. Walkers have the added notability of being one of only two firms in the entire survey to have a female managing partner (Viberts being the other).

We would like to think that the offshore market offers an attractive career path to female lawyers. One which enables you to fulfill your professional ambitions while enjoying your personal/family life at the same time and not having to sacrifice one at the expense of the other.

If you are interested in discussing what an offshore career move may hold in store for you, we are always happy to answer your questions.

Contact Highbury Consulting: Cayman: +1 345 3280555 London: +44 (0)20 8144 4576.
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