City firms extend partnership track

City firms extend partnership trackAdditional reporting by Emma QuinnThe average age of new partners at the top 10 City firms is now almost 35, as associates face a longer wait before being made up.

According to research by The Lawyer, the average age of partners made up this year is 34.7 years. Of the top 10 firms, those with the highest average age for new partners are Lovells and Clifford Chance, with averages of 37.2 years and 36 years respectively.

Most top 10 firms run a partnership track of six or seven years’ post-qualification experience.

One partner at a top 10 firm, who was made up at the age of 30, said: “In my day, if you weren’t made up by the age of 33 then you’d never be made up.”

Meanwhile another piece of research from The Lawyer has found that women and ethnic minority applicants entering the law are still failing to reach partnership. Only 25 per cent of women make partner, while the ethnic minority figures are even more pronounced. The average number of ethnic minority applicants at responding firms was 23 per cent, but only 3 per cent made the partnership.

The poor representation of women in partnerships is highlighted by the tiny number of female board members at the UK’s top 10 firms. Three of the four largest firms have no women at all on their management boards, while only one of the top 10, Norton Rose, has more than one.

Confirmation that the largest firms continue to be run by men is a key finding of the report, although it is likely to come as little surprise to most lawyers. As Trowers & Hamlins HR director Malcolm Lewis puts it: “The law remains a white, male-dominated profession.”