The Law Society Group gender pay gap report

This report covers the statutory gender pay reporting for the Law Society Group.

The report details the combined results of the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which operated independently.

The Law Society is the professional membership body for solicitors in England and Wales. The SRA is the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales.

As of April 2022, the Law Society and SRA will be reporting on their gender pay gap as two separate entities.

At a glance – our 2021 gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between the mean or median hourly pay rate that female and male staff receive.

The mean pay gap is the difference between hourly earnings for female and male staff, taking the sum of all hourly rates divided by the total number of female or male staff in the sample.

The median pay gap is the difference between the midpoints in the ranges of hourly earnings between female and male staff. It takes all salaries in the sample, in order from lowest to highest, and picks the middle-most salary.

These figures provided in the charts below are based on hourly rates of pay during the monthly pay period ending on 25 April 2021 and bonuses paid in the year up to 5 April 2021. The figures are compared to our 2019 and 2020 gender pay gap report.

Difference in pay between females and males

  2019 2020 2021 +/- percentage point change 2020-21
Mean pay gap 10.6% 13% 11.5% -1.5%
Median pay gap 8.3% 11.8% 11.3% -0.5%

The 2021 mean and median gender pay gap has decreased compared to 2020.

Difference in bonus pay between females and males

  2019 2020 2021 +/- percentage point change 2020-21
Mean bonus gap 12.8% 24.1% 23.2% -0.9%
Median bonus gap 0% 5.6% -3.4% -9%

In 2021, both the mean and median bonus gap have decreased compared to 2020, showing an inverse median bonus gap; that is, the proportion of females receiving a bonus exceeds the proportion of males.

Proportion of male and female staff receiving a bonus payment

There are different bonus schemes operating throughout the Law Society Group and, for the first year since we started reporting, the median bonus gap is inverse.

Proportion of male and female staff in each pay quartile

The charts show the gender split when we divide our workforce by ordering hourly rates of pay from highest to lowest and grouping the pay into four equal quartiles.

Approximately 61% of our workforce is female and, as the 2021 pay quartile chart demonstrates, females continue to be well represented across all pay quartiles.

There is however more work to be done to ensure the gender balance in the upper middle and top quartiles better reflects the gender split in the rest of the group.

Understanding the gap

Our 2021 median pay gap is 11.3%, which once again is lower than the current UK median pay gap of 15.4% (Office of National Statistics 2021).

As a group, the slight decrease in the median from last year is predominantly caused by a shift in percentage between female and male in both the lower middle and lower quartiles.

What we've achieved on gender pay

The Law Society and SRA are committed to reducing the gender pay gap.

Below is a summary of some of the ongoing measures taking place to address the gender pay gap:

  • review of how we recruit, retain and promote females into senior roles
  • review to address any potential gender and other protected characteristic bias
  • review of our policies, processes and practices to ensure an environment where everyone can flourish

We continue to be committed to a fully inclusive workplace.

As required by the regulation, we confirm the data in this report is accurate.

Gerry Walsh Paul Philip
Interim CEO, The Law Society CEO, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Archived gender pay gap reports

The Law Society Group – Gender Pay Gap Report 2020 (PDF 86.5 KB)

The Law Society Group – Gender Pay Gap Report 2019 (PDF 700 KB)

The Law Society Group – Gender Pay Gap Report 2018 (PDF 700 KB)

The Law Society Group – Gender Pay Gap Report 2017 (PDF 309 KB)

NOTE: The 2017 report was amended in February 2019. The initial 2017 report as published in 2018, in line with statutory timelines, did not factor in salary sacrifice deductions. The Law Society Group has now revised the calculations to include salary sacrifice deductions. This has adversely impacted the gender pay gap figures, because more female than male employees take up salary sacrifice arrangements.

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