Gender diverse legal teams outperform single gender teams

Global legal market research firm Acritas has examined the statistics behind gender differences in law, including the pay gap, service performance and behavior, to reveal how law firms and clients can make diversity pay for both sides of the relationship.


Mixed gender teams significantly outperform single gender teams. Analysis of 12 KPIs has revealed an uplift in performance across the full suite of industry-recognized metrics according to 996 clients interviewed by Acritas, with the biggest gain in performance for strength of relationships.

Acritas also compared the performance of teams led by male partners with female partners and observed no significant differences on any KPI - they were equal. Superior performance was only perceived by clients when working with a gender diverse team.


The research also looked at what may be contributing to the lack of gender diversity in law at the Equity partner level and made a noteworthy discovery. Male clients are a third less likely than female clients to choose female lead partners from their law firms. Male clients pick a female lead in just 17% of cases.


Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Acritas said: “The challenge for firms is that their male clients will be more likely to bring work to their male partners and the majority of clients are male. If clients, both male and female, can start to apply quotas in their work allocation – giving at least one in three matters to a female lead partner and demand gender diverse teams, this will start to balance the power and increase the chances of equity for women. At the same time, if law firms can field gender diverse teams and push their female lawyers to the forefront of relationships, this will help to balance out the gender gap. For both sides, these efforts will be rewarded with a better result – a more satisfying service for clients and stronger, more loyal relationships for firms.”

The diversity study findings including analysis of the pay gap, service performance and behavior is available for purchase. Contact Jo Summers on T: +44 (0) 808 178 3020 | or Elizabeth Duffy T:  +44 (0) 808 178 to find out more. 

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