Magic Circle law firms still lag on racial diversity at the top

In June final year, The Daily Telegraph revealed that the 5 magic circle firms, the place companions earn between £1.5m and £2.9m a year, had simply six black companions.

Linklaters admitted that its progress in enhancing the illustration of black legal professionals at the agency had been too gradual.

A spokesman mentioned: “We recognise that we have a lack of black racial diversity in our firm and are committed to doing better. Whilst diversity and inclusion are core to our firm’s strategy, we have not made progress fast enough and have pledged to improve representation of black and underrepresented minority ethnic lawyers and business team members at all levels in our firm.”

The prestigious firms advise the majority of the FTSE 100 in addition to non-public fairness teams and hedge funds, and have been boosted by a surge in dealmaking in the City in latest months.

Slaughter and May mentioned 15pc of fairness associate promotions in its London and Brussels workplaces shall be from ethnic minority backgrounds between 2020 and 2025. Clifford Chance set related targets and mentioned “the top of our firm needs to look like the rest of the firm”.

Helen Ouseley, head of diversity and inclusion at Freshfields, mentioned the agency had “made strides”, however recognised it was “not yet where we need to be”.

Meanwhile Allen & Overy mentioned it was investing in its promotion pipeline with a selected focus on “diverse talent”.

Last week, Allen & Overy mentioned pre-tax income rose by a fifth to £822m final year because it boosted pay for top tier companions by 17pc to £1.9m. 

Clifford Chance will reveal its newest monetary outcomes this week. 

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