Last year the firm’s partnership round was 92 per cent male, with just two women promoted. The legal sector continues to struggle with gender equality with the partner ranks at elite law firms still heavily male-dominated. Dana Denis-Smith the founder of First 100 Years, a project marking the history of women in the legal profession, described A&O’s promotion numbers this year as “particularly bad”. “It is a self-perpetuating problem, men like to cultivate younger men because they identify with them,” she said.