European firms increasing diversity with proportion goals

March 9, 2018 The rise in the proportion of women at the biggest law firms in Europe has continued, but more slowly, according to The Lawyer’s European 100 2017.

The number of firms with a majority female partnership went down from 2015 to 2016. In 2015, two French firms had partnerships with over 50% of the members being female: Fromont Briens and Lefèvre Pelletier. However, both firms merged in the following year, with Littler Mendelson and CGR Avocats respectively, altering their proportions.

Last year’s most female-heavy partnership was that of Spanish firm Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo, which, with eight of its 18 partners being female, is 44 percent women. Cremades was also the most improved, with a 25 percent increase from last year.

The only all-male partnership belongs to Darrois Villey, though the firm’s recent hire of Carine Dupeyron from French firm August Debouzy shows the beginnings of a change.

Several firms have set diversity goals for the coming years. Swiss firm Homburger hopes to improve from 6.5 percent to 15 percent female partnership by 2019. Loyens & Loeff, currently with 12.6 percent female partnership, has set a goal of 30 percent by 2024. Cuatrecasas is sitting at 13.7 percent now, but has set up a female talent team with the goal of improving its numbers.

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