Heavyweight City firms have sought to avoid reheating criticism they received during the first round of gender pay gap reporting last year by ensuring partners appear in the latest round of returns.

Both Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May have included partners at the first time of asking this year. 

At Slaughter and May, the mean pay gap across all staff and partners is 63.6%. At Freshfields, the gap is 57.6%. 

Under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, firms with 250 or more employees are required to reveal their gender pay gap. The regulations stipulate that firms provide information for the previous year by 4 April.

In the first reporting round, Slaughter and May was criticised by members of the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee. Like many firms, it declined to include equity partners on the grounds that they are not employees. 

However, along with Freshfields, it revised its data after a request from MPs. 

Clifford Chance, the only magic circle firm that disclosed the divide between partners and employees in the first round without a prompt, this year reported a 2018 pay gap of 68.9%, up from 66.3% in 2017.

Slaughter and May has also joined the growing number of firms to report an ethnicity pay gap. It shows that people who identify as black, Asian or minority ethnic earn 51.1% less than those who identify as white. Clifford Chance published figures showing gaps relating to ethnicity (52%), disability (61.9%) and sexuality (35.6%).