Fewer than one-tenth of senior lawyers are women, putting paid to claims that the profession is one of the City's most equal industries.
A survey of the 100 biggest British law firms showed that only 9.4 per cent of equity partners are female, according to The Lawyer magazine.
Nearly one-quarter of all partners are women, which suggests that they are put off by the overtly masculine atmosphere upon reaching the upper echelons of the industry.
The Linklaters partner Clodagh Hayes said she was "surprised" and "disappointed" by the findings, pointing out that there is a 50-50 male-to-female split at entry level.
However, she added: "Two to three years after qualification you find that many women look at alternative careers or go and work in-house – much more so than men."