Magic circle firm Slaughter and May has released gender pay gap figures showing women to be ahead of men - so long as employees in secretarial roles are omitted.

The firm’s report, published today, gives three sets of comparisons. One compares associates only, another includes business services (excluding secretaries), and a third compares all employees, as required by law. As with other elite law firms, partners’ earnings do not appear in the calculation. 

Associate-only figures show women are paid 2.1% more than men (mean). In business services the mean gap is 7.6% in favour of women.

However, when all roles at the firm, including secretarial, are taken into account, the mean pay gap is 14.3% in favour of men. In terms of bonuses, the pay gap between men and women firmwide is 33.3% (mean). It is this data that appears on the government’s website.

In a statement accompanying its report, the firm said: ‘Our all-female secretarial population has had an impact on our statutory figures. However, when we review the pay and bonus data by associate and business services (excluding secretaries) roles, there is a dramatic change from the statutory figures.’

As with other reports the workforce is broken down into four pay quartiles; a lower quartile, a lower-middle quartile, an upper-middle quartile and an upper quartile. The upper quartile at Slaughters is 53.3% male while the lowest quartile is 27.7% male.

Executive partner Paul Stacey, said: ‘Our analysis of the underlying figures shows that our one-firm culture remains strong, with the gender pay gap for associates and business services professionals yielding encouraging results. That culture values remunerating our employees in a less differentiated and more egalitarian way, and is supported by no billable hours targets.’

Meanwhile, City firm Mishcon de Reya has revealed that women at the firm are paid 42% less (mean) than men in bonuses. The mean difference in hourly pay is reported as 17%. The firm also said that far more women work in secretarial and legal operations roles and that the number of women working part time also had an impact on bonuses.

Although the percentage of women in each quartile outnumbers that of men the disparity is starker in the lower quartiles.

The firm said: ‘In our business 63% of our people are women. Our secretarial and legal operations roles are 97% women and make up 19% of the roles performed by women at the firm.’

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 require businesses with 250 or more employees to report specific figures about their gender pay gaps by 4 April.