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Freshfields publishes its third UK pay gap report

Freshfields has announced the results of its UK pay gap report. Employee figures show an improvement in both the mean hourly rate of pay to 3.8 per cent (2018: 5.7 per cent; 2017: 13.9 per cent) and the mean bonus pay gap of 7.1 per cent (2018: 32.7 per cent; 2017: 41.0 per cent). These positive changes have been driven by the hiring of women into senior roles, as well as higher compensation paid to some women in senior positions. 73 per cent of the firm's senior directors in the UK and 55 per cent of its London management group are women.

The most significant change in the firm’s mean hourly rate gap is the reduction in the quartile four gap, which is now -4.2 per cent down from 8.0 per cent, again driven by more senior women being employed by Freshfields.

Given that the focus on diversity at Freshfields is broader than gender, the firm has also reported on ethnicity pay gap data. As there is currently no guidance on how to publish this data, the same criteria for gender pay gap reporting has been used. In the year reported data shows that 13.0 per cent of Freshfields’ UK partner and employee population identify as BAME (black, Asian or minority ethnic) (2018: 13.5 per cent).

Race and ethnicity is a particular focus for the firm this year. As well as the continuation of the firm’s successful and award-winning Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, we hosted our Black Affinity Network global talent meet in London in 2019 and have several efforts underway this year including reverse mentoring, sponsorship and supervisor training.

In addition, new employee-led networks have been launched across the firm’s UK offices to further the inclusion agenda: the Mental Health Affinity Network, and the Freshfields Enabled Network, which focuses on disability inclusion.

Claire Wills, London Managing Partner at Freshfields, commented: “Freshfields is fully committed to creating a culture of inclusion. Although there is much more to do, I am proud of the many initiatives that we have in place that will allow us to make the strides forward that are needed. I am encouraged to see a continued improvement in our employee figures for gender this year. By reporting on our ethnicity and our gender figures, we are ensuring that we stay focused on our strategy and dialogue around diversity and inclusion to help drive real change.”

Olivia Balson, Director of the Freshfields Global Centre in Manchester, added: “The level of engagement across the firm in the programmes and efforts underway to enhance diversity and inclusion is fantastic to see. We know that we have more to do and we are building a positive foundation and an environment where our people can bring their whole selves to work, which is supported firm-wide.”


Notes for Editors

About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multi-national expertise and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most.