Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduction

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 and key charities in our area
  • 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  publishing it on our website and displaying in our reception as well as training staff on induction on this policy.

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

 Our compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) Alison Lee has  overall responsibility for our CSR strategy and for implementing this policy. They have 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 Alison Lee or Sarah Godley.

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.

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.
  • We view positively charitable engagement and activities and hold these regularly in the office.
  • We aim to take steps to minimise our waste production and energy consumption.

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. It can be found on the intranet.

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 on the intranet.

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 and publish our diversity data on the SRA website and on our own website.

We positively encourage team working and social interaction between staff outside working hours and try where possible to recognise staff achievements such a qualifications, exam passes and long service.

Our community:

In considering our impact on the community we have resolved to sponsor or otherwise support The Rowans Hospice, Military charities, Pompey in the Community (PITC),  Cancer Charities, Local Domestic Abuse charities and services and The Kings Theatre.

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

We will continue our links with serving members of HM forces and to offer assistance to them by offering a forces discount on our work and Aurora New Dawn offering free use of your office space, Rowans hospice by sponsoring fundraising events and offering Mathew Smith’s time as a Trustee, and PITC by offering Alison Lee’s time and services as Chair of Trustees

We will from time to time offer to host and promote other charitable events such a Macmillan coffee morning on our premises.

We have more recently asked a number of staff to under dementia awareness training.

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. This is achieved by regular client care updates by email and by conducting customer satisfaction survey.

We  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 Client care policy, which can be found on our intranet.

Suppliers:

We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity in our professional dealings with suppliers and other third parties. Equality and diversity policy can be found on our website and  our intranet

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.

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 in business travel
  • minimise our consumption of natural resources and manage waste through responsible disposal and reuse and recycling, including paper and ink cartridges