I read with great interest that Macrossans Lawyers have recently elevated two women into the partnership “taking its female partner percentage to one of the highest in the country” (‘Women Boosted at Macrossans Lawyers’, Issue 259, 23 September).
As the partnership at Watkins Tapsell consists of three men and three women, I take pride in knowing that our practice also has one of the highest female partner percentages in the country.
I also wish to highlight that Watkins Tapsell actively began a positive drive towards equal opportunity at all levels of our business, dating back to before the entry into the partnership of our first female partner in 1998. Women have made up 50 per cent of the partnership since 1 July 2004. In addition, Ms Sonja Daly is the managing partner of the firm.
Also, we employ six lawyers. Five of them are female.
We recently promoted a female lawyer to associate level. Her career began at Watkins Tapsell as an office junior and through the support of the partnership and hard work she has achieved the status of a senior practitioner within the firm. We currently have three other young women secretaries studying law or beginning to study law and we will be actively supporting them in the same way. One will be admitted as a lawyer in May 2006 and will be engaged by our firm at that time in the role of solicitor.
We were delighted to receive an Equal Opportunity Award for Legal Initiatives from the NSW Law Society in 2004. We see this as positive recognition for the initiatives we have been undertaking over the last 15 years.
It still amazes us that the legal profession is so slow to adopt true equal opportunity principles and while we applaud the partners at Macrossans Lawyers, we highlight the distance the profession still has to travel in this journey, given that women have for some time represented at least 50 per cent of the graduates in the profession. It is disappointing that in 2005 the achievements of our firm and firms like Macrossans, in implementing true equal opportunity in practice, are so exceptional as to be notable.
Partner, Watkins Tapsell