Our employee networks across our Responsible Business programmes support us in advancing our key focus areas and priorities. Each region has active committees who collaborate with their teams to identify and coordinate a wide range of local and global activities that align with our objectives.
Our partnerships and pledges provide an opportunity to engage with other like-minded organisations to achieve our aim of making a difference for our people, clients, and communities where we work.
Partnerships for change
Aspiring Solicitors work with law firms to provide opportunities for aspiring solicitors from diverse backgrounds and to enhance diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. They provide free information, advice, events, one-to-one coaching to their members (who are apprentices, undergraduate or postgraduate students).
Bright-Tide empowers organisations to take action on climate change and biodiversity loss. Since 2020, we have partnered with Bright-Tide on the Save the Vaquita Hackathon and A Whale of a Solution for Climate Change. Both initiatives offered our people the chance to engage in conservation work, learn about global biodiversity challenges, and come up with innovative and practical legal solutions to help protect nature. New projects are currently in development.
The Canopy Project improves our shared environment by planting trees across the globe. Since 2010, EARTHDAY.ORG™ has planted tens of millions of trees with The Canopy Project, working worldwide to strengthen communities. Launched in April 2022, this new partnership means our people have can make a difference through planting trees, and we have committed to donate £5 to plant a tree for every hour of volunteer time that is recorded.
The Careers Enterprise Company (CEC) is England's national body for careers education, assisting schools and colleges in implementing new, 21st-century careers education. Since May 2020, we have been working with the CEC on its mission to work with the business community to assist every young person in taking the next best step in their lives. Our Early Careers team has been undertaking a schools outreach programme, targeting students from low socio-economic backgrounds, advising on career pathways into law and promoting Kennedys’ legal apprenticeships which are accessible to students considering leaving school after A levels. The team has also organised a series of events for students, including insight days and careers Q&A sessions, to assist them in making important career choices.
Our partnership with the Chancery Lane Project (TCLP) will enable our lawyers to assist their clients to implement their own climate action objectives. The project aligns with and supports the achievement of the UN SDGs relating to climate action and emissions reduction targets and our aspiration to reach net zero by 2050.
We are delighted to announce we have teamed up with The Children’s Society to fund vital mental health and wellbeing support for vulnerable young people. Over the next three years we raise funds in support of support the UK-wide work of the charity and its affiliates, Children 1st in Scotland and Youth Action in Northern Ireland. We will also be involved in community volunteering and be providing pro bono legal support.
We are excited to be working with a new education partner in Birmingham. Envision believes a young person’s background mustn’t determine their future. We will be contributing to Envision’s mission by empowering young people from less-advantaged backgrounds to develop essential skills and confidence as part of their Community Apprentice programme.
When students encounter the working world, they have the opportunity to gain authentic and credible insights that schools cannot provide as effectively without the involvement of business. To tackle this, we have partnered with Future Frontiers an award-winning education charity that exists to ensure young people fulfil their potential. Their two-year programme supports a young person's post-16 transition to further education, employment or training. Our employees are matched with a student and actively engage in an intensive coaching program designed to provide bespoke career guidance and mentoring.
The Greener Litigation Pledge is an industry-led commitment to take an action to reduce the environmental impact of dispute resolution in England and Wales, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement's aim of limiting global warming to 1.5°C or below. The pledge sets out practical changes litigators can commit to in the journey towards net zero.
We are delighted to have partnered with GROW mentoring. GROW is a charity which aims to advance social mobility and increase access to the legal profession through mentorship and community. So far, GROW has successfully paired 2500+ students from over 100 universities since launching in 2020. GROW pairs aspiring lawyers with professionals who have similar backgrounds or interests in the legal industry.
In 2021, our Madrid office entered into a partnership agreement with Comillas Pontifical University (“ICADE”) through its Legal Clinic programme. ICADE Legal Clinic is a pro bono programme where law students from ICADE voluntarily participate in different projects with non-governmental organisations (“NGOs”). Lawyers from our Madrid office regularly support students with theoretical-practice training with a particular focus on service to the community by working on real cases in which there is an underlying social problem or public interest. Find out about a recent success story here.
We recently launched a new partnership with the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) as a founding Affiliate Board Member. This collaboration provides us with a platform to expand our Responsible Business initiatives and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Initial activities will include:
- Getting involved through the IICF's volunteer programmes and charity partnerships
- Connect with IICF's charity partners to access diverse talent and show leadership within being socially responsible
In 2021 we signed up to the Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification process in the US and became one of the first law firms to pilot the Mansfield Rule 1.0 in the UK. The Mansfield Rule is a 12-month certification process which aims to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership.
The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Since joining this ambitious corporate climate action programme, our target has been submitted to the SBTi for validation and we are awaiting approval. Our baseline target covers 1st May 2019 to 30th April 2020 across our scope 1, 2 and 3 emission. We are currently in the process of collecting data for FY21 and FY22, working with Carbon Intelligence on our long term carbon strategy to deliver on our aspiration to become net zero, in line with the Paris Agreement. We will be reporting on our performance annually on our progress against targets.
Support the Goals is an initiative to rate and recognise the businesses that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), since joining in 2020, we have been working with their sustainability specialists to raise awareness of the SDGs across our Firm, by taking a structured approach to planning, target setting and reporting on progress, aligned with our five priority SDGs.
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is a non-binding United Nations pact, and the world’s largest sustainability initiative which encourages businesses and firms worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation, since joining in 2020, we've set commitments and targets to address environmental and social challenges, as well as put in place mechanisms to implement our plans.
This year, we signed the Women in Law Pledge in support of the progression of women into senior roles in our firm, by focusing on retention and promotion opportunities; we have set clear plans and targets around gender, equality and diversity aligned with SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities.