Corporate & Social Responsibility
This document emphasises our commitment to our corporate and social responsibilities in the workplace, the environment and the communities.
What is our policy?
We acknowledge that running a business has an effect on society and we, as a business, 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:
- to providing good workplace standards
- decent health and safety requirements
- fair pay and conditions
How will we achieve this?
Our Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA) has overall responsibility for our CSR policy but the representatives of the Management Board have responsibility for the day-to-day management and implementation of this policy. The COFA has a key role in ensuring the systems and controls we have in place are effective together with the Management Board.
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.
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 via our internal Whistleblowing Policy.
As part of our ongoing commitment, our CSR policy is reviewed at least annually to verify its effective operation.
Key action points
- Our conduct
- Our clients
- Our people
- Our suppliers
- Our community
- Our environment
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.
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 conducting client satisfaction surveys and analysing the feedback received from clients on a quarterly basis.
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 undertake a review of all complaints regularly and analyse the data and trends on a quarterly basis. Any training requirements are identified at the quarterly review and implemented accordingly.
We acquired the Law Society quality accreditations Lexcel in 2005 and the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) in 2011 and have retained them since then and will continue to do so.
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.
It is our policy to provide staff with training and career development so they can grow and develop within the company and to enable them to deliver a high-quality service.
Where practicable, we offer flexible working to enable individuals to balance the needs and demands of both their home and their work lives.
We believe effective communication and consultation is particularly important in achieving our business objectives. We value our employees’ opinions and seek actively to involve them in the decision-making process.
We expect every member of staff to take individual responsibility for their performance and to work together to achieve our goals.
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 a recruitment procedure and an Equality and Diversity policy.
We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity in our professional dealings with suppliers and other third parties. 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.
We also expect our suppliers to operate a sustainable procurement policy and we work with them to reduce waste to include the reduction in the amount of packaging of goods and to increasing the recycling of goods once they have reached the end of their life.
In considering our impact on the community we have previously resolved to sponsor or otherwise support our local charities on a regular basis.
We are committed to behaving responsibly and to minimising our impact on the environment.
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. We manage waste through responsible disposal and the implementation of recycling bins including paper, cardboard and printer cartridges. We also recycle all IT equipment through a computer recycling company. We have also installed mains fed water chillers/heaters in our Tunbridge Wells, Cranbrook and East Grinstead offices, thereby reducing the waste and energy costs associated with supplying bottled water.