Responsible Business Report 2023



Message from our Senior Partner and CEO

We have continued to make progress across our Responsible Business programme, which links together our diversity & inclusion, environmental and social impact aspirations.

It also reflects our desire to retain the best talent and improve gender diversity at all levels with entitlements that outstrip many of our competitors. It’s a comprehensive policy which provides a level of support that we feel will fast become the expected norm for parents in the workplace. Finally, many of our lawyers have carried out Pro Bono work this year, including the crucial work to support Afghan and Ukrainian refugees, joining other law firms in several initiatives which are winning awards and, most importantly, making a difference to the lives of people caught up in human tragedies. We provide support to our lawyers participating in our Pro Bono programmes by allowing them to count 60 hours towards their chargeable hour targets. All our colleagues (legal and non-legal) are encouraged to participate in responsible business activities and are provided with a 24- hour allowance for non-legal volunteering. Our Responsible 60 and the 24-Hour Challenge programmes provide clarity and encouragement for our people to support worthy causes by giving time and expertise. Our clients (and indeed all of us) operate in a hugely uncertain and volatile world and we believe that in this context, staying true to the principles of the UN Global Compact framework, of which we are a signatory, and maintaining our unwavering commitment to operating as a responsible business, is as crucial now as it ever was.

The two standout areas of progress involve the setting of market leading and ambitious SBTi (Science Based Targets) and near-term Net Zero commitments, and the launch of a significantly enhanced, globally consistent parental leave policy. Our Net Zero targets are bold because we want to ensure that rather than simply complying, we are industry leading, for the benefits that brings to the environment but also so that we can meet our people’s expectations and those of our clients. To continue to advise clients on the broad range of climate change-related risks they face, we believe that it is important to have strong Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) credentials ourselves. This has led to changes in how we operate our business, manage our premises and our supply chain – where most of our emissions reside. As a result of setting these targets, we were able to negotiate an innovative Sustainability Linked Credit Facility (SLCF) with Barclays Bank which further incentivises us to reach our goals. We know our people want to see us set rigorous ESG standards that go beyond climate change. That’s why we introduced a bold parental leave policy. Gender-blind and offering 26 weeks’ full pay to new parents in any of our global offices, this forms part of our commitment to building an industry-leading culture that’s responsive to rapid social change.

Carolena Gordon Senior Partner +1 514 764 3664

Matthew Kelsall Chief Executive Officer +44 (0) 20 7876 5000

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