Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

Overview

We acknowledge that running our business has an effect on society. In particular, we have a responsibility to our clients, our employees and contractors as well as the broader community in which we operate.

We are committed to taking responsibility for our actions and encourage a positive contribution towards improving standards for our clients and employees, minimising our impact on the environment and improving the quality of the local community.

By putting CSR into practice, we are committed, wherever possible, to:

  • conducting ourselves responsibly and in an ethical manner
  • creating a positive and supportive working environment
  • supporting local communities
  • improving service levels to clients
  • acting fairly in our dealings with suppliers and other third parties
  • minimising the impact on our environment.

Communication

We communicate this policy to our staff, clients and other stakeholders by means of our website, publicity materials, and internal memos.

We provide our staff with training on our CSR strategy and this policy and seek to raise awareness of any negative impacts of our business and methods to reduce them.

Responsibility and review

Jeremy Rowland, who is the firm’s COLP, has overall responsibility for our CSR strategy and for implementing this policy. He has a key role in ensuring the systems and controls we have in place are effective.

All members of staff have a role to play in complying with our CSR objectives and are encouraged to make further suggestions in relation to initiatives we could undertake. If anyone has a suggestion, they should contact Jeremy Rowland.

We are fully committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability. In line with that commitment, in accordance with our Whistleblowing Policy, we actively encourage all staff members who have serious concerns about any real or perceived departure from the high ethical standard that we set to voice those concerns openly. Our Whistleblowing Policy can be found in our Office Manual.

We are committed to ensuring our policy remains effective. As part of our ongoing commitment, this policy is reviewed at least annually to verify its effective operation. Records of the reviews are maintained and any necessary amendments are made to the policy, as appropriate.

Our CSR principles

Our conduct
We aim to adopt the highest professional standards and not to act in such a way as to compromise our firm’s integrity.

We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA publishes and maintains a Handbook incorporating a Code of Conduct, with which we comply.

We actively promote respect between our staff members in their dealings with each other and with clients and other third parties.

Our working environment

We recognise that our staff are our most important resource. We actively seek to offer our staff a positive and healthy working environment and ensure that they have rewarding careers and job satisfaction.

We maintain an Office Manual, which sets out the rights and expectations of all members of staff.

We seek to ensure that all staff have access to the training they need both for their own development and to enable them to deliver a high quality service. Our procedures in relation to training and development can be found within our Office Manual.

We consider all staff members to be equal and we aim to create a working environment which is free of unlawful discrimination. In this regard, we maintain an Equality and Diversity Policy.

Our community

In considering our impact on the community we will review our support local charities.

We will allow members of staff time off work to enable them to carry out work in support of their chosen charity.

Our clients

We are committed to delivering a high level of service to all our clients. We understand that our business exists in a very competitive market and in order to retain our clients we need to deliver a professional and courteous service.

Wherever possible, we take steps to promote equal opportunity in relation to access to the legal services that we provide. We take account of the diversity of the communities we serve in order to ensure that, subject to funding constraints, our services are accessible to all clients.

We have a Treating Clients Fairly Policy which can be found in our Office Manual.

Suppliers

We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity in our professional dealings with suppliers and other third parties. Our Equality and Diversity Policy can be found in our Office Manual.

We endeavour to enter into clear and fair contracts with our suppliers. We commit to the timely settlement of suppliers’ invoices.

Wherever possible, we aim to support the local economy by contracting with local suppliers.

Environment

We are committed to behaving responsibly and to minimising our impact on the environment. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment by:

  • Minimising waste and adopting sensible recycling policies in respect of our paper and food consumption
  • Providing safe and comfortable working conditions
  • Encouraging staff to walk or cycle to work
  • Ensuring that electrical equipment and lights are off when not in use
  • Ensuring that heating is turned off or down outside office hours.

Responsibility

  • Responsibility for this policy, including an annual review of the policy to:
  • Ensure that it remains up to date, compliant and relevant to the needs of the Firm and its clients
  • Verify it is in effective operation across the practice
  • we offer work experience at the firm for those considering a career in the legal profession
  • we make up to four charity donations per year.