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Women reach a "glass ceiling" at law firms, with only a small percentage ever making partner status, a survey has found.

Following a UK survey which showed that just over 14 per cent of women made partner in the top 50 law firms there, a similar survey by New Zealand legal newsletter LawFuel showed that at our top firms 17 per cent of women are made partner.

The blame for the low figure in Britain was largely laid at the feet of inflexible work practices and long hours. LawFuel said the number of women being promoted to partner in New Zealand was low, considering that 40 per cent of law graduates were female.

The highest ranking firm was Anderson Lloyd with a 35 per cent ratio (11 women partners). The lowest was Anthony Harper, with none.

Law firms with the highest number of women partners (by percentage) were:

1 Anderson Lloyd 35

2= Arthur Watson Savage 33

2= Brookfields 33

3= Meredith Connell 25

3= Martelli McKegg 25

4 Glaister Ennor 23

5= Minter Ellison 18

5= Hesketh Henry 18

6 Simpson Grierson 17

7= Kensington Swan 15

7= Chapman Tripp 15

8= Phillips Fox 14

8= Bell Gully 14

8= Buddle Findlay 14

9= AJ Park 12

9= Russell McVeagh 12

9= Cavell Leitch 12

9= Duncan Cotterill 12