Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy

1.    Introduction

a.    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.
b.    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.
c.    By putting CSR into practice, we are committed, wherever possible, to:

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

2.    Communication

a.    We communicate this policy to our staff, clients and other stakeholders by means of its publication on the Firm’s website.
b.    We provide our staff with training at induction and thereafter on our CSR strategy and this policy and seek to raise awareness of any negative impacts of our business and methods to reduce them.

3.    Responsibility and review

a.    The Firm’s Board has overall responsibility for our CSR strategy and for implementing this policy. Its members have a key role in ensuring the systems and controls we have in place are effective.
b.    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 any member of staff has a suggestion, they should contact their manager.
c.    We are fully committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability. In line with that commitment, 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.
d.    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.

4.    Our CSR principles

a.    Our conduct:

  • i.    We aim to adopt the highest professional standards and not to act in such a way as to compromise our firm’s integrity.
  • ii.    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.
  • iii.    We actively promote respect between our staff members in their dealings with each other and with clients and other third parties.

b.    Our working environment:

  • i.    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.
  • ii.    We maintain a Practice manual, of which this policy is part, which sets out the obligations and expectations of all members of staff.
  • iii.    We seek to ensure that all staff have access to the training they need to enable them to deliver a high quality service.
  • iv.    We value all staff members and we aim to create a working environment which is free from unlawful discrimination.

c.    Our community:

  • i.    In considering our impact on the community we have created, funded, and resolved to sponsor or otherwise support the Gaby Hardwicke Foundation, a registered charity whose trustees are independent of the Firm.
  • ii.    We support other charities and good causes by financial donation, sponsorship, promotion to our staff and clients, and by participating in the governance of such charities and good causes.

d.    Our clients:

  • i.    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. This is achieved by the auditing of our files across the Firm, by circulating client feedback and surveys.
  • ii.    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.

e.    Suppliers:

  • i.    We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity in our professional dealings with suppliers and other third parties.
  • ii.    We endeavour to enter into clear and fair contracts with our suppliers. We commit to the timely settlement of suppliers’ invoices.
  • iii.    Wherever possible, we aim to support the local economy by contracting with local suppliers.
  • iv.    We operate a Bribery Act policy and do not permit the acceptance of hospitality or other benefits from our suppliers.

f.    Environment:

  • i.    We are committed to behaving responsibly and to minimising our impact on the environment.
  • ii.    In considering the environment, we have resolved to encourage environmental responsibility among our contractors, suppliers and staff and include environmental considerations in our purchasing and procurement processes and to minimise our consumption of natural resources and manage waste through responsible disposal and reuse and recycling, including paper and ink cartridges.

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