Pathways to Progression

Our Vision

We recognise that we need to increase the number of women partners as a priority management issue. Although women make up over half of our graduate intake, a very low number of female lawyers remain at the firm to become partners. There is a clear need for us to achieve better gender balance; within the firm, particularly at partner level.

We are committed to becoming 'the' law firm for women to progress; redefining opportunities for women of future generations to come. This will make us a better firm by ensuring that we are able to recruit and retain the best talent. Female associate attrition is costly, from the twin perspectives of financial loss and loss of talent. Many clients require our gender statistics when pitching for work, a trend which is increasing. Our ability to maintain and strengthen our market position requires a diverse workforce that can offer the widest possible range of perspectives. In short, greater female representation will improve our performance as a firm.

Tackling gender balance issues continue’s to be a priority for the firm. We firmly believe in the importance of giving all members of the firm a voice to share their thoughts and experiences.

Find a variety of stories from our people who share their personal pathway to progression experience here.

Our Commitment

We understand that the prevalent issues including flexibility, career progression and personal life cycles affect men and women, with and without caring responsibilities, across the firm. We recognise that there is no quick fix; this is a long term commitment to create a permanent shift in the culture which will better position the firm for the future and benefit all members of the firm.

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Flexible Working

We are the first major law firm to promote our openness to recruiting new staff on a flexible basis. As a firm we are committed to providing equality of opportunity in employment and supporting our people to manage their own work-life balance. This is why we have developed practices and policies that empower individuals to choose a working pattern flexible to their needs.

Read about our approach to flexible working

The Number One Club (TNOC)

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The Number One Club (TNOC), is our women's network. Set up in 2008, TNOC has three objectives:

  1. Looking after number one - internal events (open to men and women) to promote development and wellbeing, connecting women in the firm and supporting the firm’s gender balance initiatives
  2. Plus one - external events for female clients, which are open to men and women from the firm
  3. Connecting as one - building relationships with women’s networks at client organisations and beyond, supporting contacts in establishing their own women’s networks.

We also host joint events with other women’s networks. For example, this year we teamed up with Schroders’ Network of Women for a couple of joint events, including a talk on women in boxing and a tour of our contemporary art collection.

TNOC provides support to other women’s networks and organisations that are looking to establish women’s networks.

TNOC is also a member of The Gender Network and a champion of the First 100 Years Project and we have hosted their Conference for three consecutive years, the fourth one being on 07 November 2018, again at our offices.

This year we are proud to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of TNOC. To the mark this occasion we are having a party of 26 September at which we will be joined by Victoria Coren Mitchell who will entertain us with her thoughts on women’s networks and the important role that they play. Also see how we are celebrating 10 years, ten things here.

Emma Sutcliffe (Litigation partner) and Ania Rontaler (Corporate partner) are the current co-chairs of TNOC. 

100 Years Since Women got the Right to Vote

Tuesday 06 February marked the anniversary of 100 years since the first woman got the right to vote. In aid of this celebration we posted a series of social media graphics quoting leading female partners in the business:

Anna Rontaler quote

Mahrie Webb quote

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on 8 March. The event is described as something that “is not country, group or organisation specific - and belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.”

In 2018, the campaign theme was #PressforProgress. As such, we asked men and women around the firm, in both the UK and international offices, about how they are pressing for progress. We have received a vast variety of responses, watch a slideshow of the highlights below:



A brief history of our awards and accolades: