Modern slavery statement
This statement is made by Kennedys Law LLP (‘Kennedys’) under section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 for the financial year ending 30 April 2020.
According to the charity Anti-Slavery International at least 24.9 million people are thought to be in trapped in forced labour worldwide. Of them, 16 million are exploited in the private sector, linked to the supply chains of the international businesses supplying our goods and services. Slavery exists in all stages of the supply chain, from the picking of raw materials, to the manufacturing of goods and at later stages of shipping and delivery to consumers. In the UK in 2019 over 10,000 people were identified as victims of slavery and referred to authorities but the actual figure is estimated to be far higher.
Modern Slavery can include:
Slavery - Exercising powers of ownership over a person
Servitude - The obligation to provide services is imposed by the use of coercion
Forced or compulsory labour - Work or services are exacted from a person under the menace of any penalty and for which the person has not offered themselves voluntarily
Human trafficking - Arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to their exploitation
THE FIRM AND STRUCTURE
Kennedys is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with a registered number OC353214 and registered at 25 Fenchurch Avenue, London, EC3M 5AD. We are a global law firm with expertise in dispute resolution and advisory services, especially in defending insurance and liability claims. We have 2150 people across 22 countries and operate from 39 offices and 20 associations or co-operations globally. In the last financial year our global turnover was £238m. Further detail about the nature of our business can be found on the firm’s website.
A high proportion of the firm’s suppliers are professional advisers and experts who are engaged on client matters and the remainder provide goods and services to the business including the firm’s accountants, banks, brokers and insurers, furniture suppliers, office supply companies, office cleaners, caterers, vending machine suppliers, electrical and building contractors, archive facilities, phone providers, suppliers of IT equipment, software and licences, software developers, website designers, couriers, travel advisers, recruitment agencies, trainers, seminar providers, publishers of hard copy and digital materials, motor fleet providers, event managers and photographers.
UN GLOBAL COMPACT
In June 2020, Kennedys issued a letter of commitment to the United Nations, confirming that the firm supports the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and its intention to implement the principles. This support also includes promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals, of which Goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth) is particularly relevant to modern slavery.
Kennedys is committed to preventing acts of modern slavery and human trafficking from occurring within its business and supply chain.
Our efforts to monitor and reduce the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring within our supply chains involve (where possible) building long-standing relationships with suppliers and contractors who understand and are clear about the expected behaviours to enable the firm to:
- establish, monitor and assess areas of potential risk in our business and supply chains
- reduce the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking occurring in our business and supply chains
- provide adequate protection for whistle-blowers.
We have introduced a supplier policy that clearly sets out the firm’s expectations about modern slavery and other important compliance issues. These requirements are incorporated into every supplier contract and over the course of the coming financial year we will be carrying out due diligence audits on a risk-based approach to verify the extent of compliance by all key suppliers and any potentially high risk suppliers. We expect over that period to be able to establish key performance indicators relating to the percentage of key suppliers who complete the due diligence audits, the percentage of audits that are fully compliant, the completion of training and the number of notified incidents, which will form a benchmark going forwards.
We have assessed the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking to be low across the firm due to the geographical location of our offices and the mainly advisory nature of our business.
The firm’s policy is to:
a) maintain clear policies and procedures preventing exploitation and human trafficking, and protecting our workforce and reputation
b) be clear about our recruitment policy
c) check our supply chains
d) lead by example by making appropriate checks on all employees, recruitment agencies and suppliers to ensure we know who is working for us
e) ensure we have in place an open and transparent grievance process for all staff
f) seek to raise awareness so that our colleagues know what we are doing to promote their welfare
g) make a clear annual statement setting out the steps we have taken to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in our supply chains and to demonstrate that we take our responsibilities to our employees and our clients seriously
All employees and partners are required to read and comply with our Modern Slavery policy and have the opportunity to undertake training, which helps employees and partners to understand the implications of slavery, identifying risk factors and assists with implementing the policy effectively.
Over the next 12 months we will:
- carry out due diligence audits on a risk-based approach to verify the extent of compliance by all key
suppliers and any potentially high risk suppliers.
- establish key performance indicators relating to the percentage of key suppliers who complete the
due diligence audits, the percentage of audits that are fully compliant, the completion of training
and the number of notified incidents, which will form a benchmark going forwards.
- continually review our procurement procedures and processes to ensure that our obligations under
the MSA Act 2015 are passed through to our supply chain.
Andrew Coates, Partner for Kennedys