Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility

At Kennedys, we believe that everyone in our Firm can contribute to our role as a Responsible Business, which is why we joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2020, the world's largest sustainability initiative that assists businesses in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  These goals have been agreed and designed to be a blue print to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all; they are a universal call to action to end poverty, reduce inequailty, protect the planet and promote peace and prosperity by 2030. 

Kennedys/UN Global Compact banner

We have identified five priority goals to help us on our path to making a difference for our people, clients and the environment while also advancing societal goals. Our commitments, which are detailed below, provide more detail on what we are focusing on to make progress toward the SDGs.

  • 3_Good Health & Well Being_tile.png

    Goal 3 - good health and wellbeing

    Promote and enable positive mental health and wellbeing for our people and identify engagement activities within our local communities.

  • 4_Quality Education_tile.png

    Goal 4 - quality education

    Create education, learning and development opportunities within Kennedys and our communities.

  • 10_Reduced Inequalities_tile.png

    Goal 10 - reduced inequalities

    Reduce inequality across our business, creating equal opportunities for all.

  • 13_Climate Action_tile.png

    Goal 13 - climate action

    Tackle climate change and aspire to become net zero.

  • 16_Peace Justice & Strong Institutions_tile.png

    Goal 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions

    Develop a coordinated, targeted and impactful pro bono programme.

As a signatory to the UN Global Compact, we have committed to publishing an annual report on progress towards commitments and targets in order to be transparent and accountable.

Responsible business report 2021 (PDF, 3.47 MB)

Sustainability report 2020 (PDF, 8.75 MB)

Our partnerships

Introduction to our partnerships and pledges

We actively look for opportunities to collaborate with other like-minded organisations to achieve our objectives, with the ambition of making a difference for our people, our clients and communities where we work.

Find out more

Asia Pacific

Australia

We are an employment partner with Career Trackers – a non-profit organisation that provides employment and support to young indigenous adults across the country. We welcomed our first intern in Sydney in November 2021, who has since joined our paralegal team permanently while they complete their degree, working with a partner mentor and supported by peer group buddies as part of Kennedys junior lawyers career development programme. We hope to offer internships in our other offices as well.

Our employment team provides pro-bono legal advice to individual clients at Kingsford Legal Centre, a community legal service run by the University of NSW Sydney Law & Justice Faculty. Kennedys is also a law firm partner of the Fair Work Commission Pro Bono Workplace Advice Service, advising and representing individuals and small businesses in various Fair Work matters.  

We helped #GiveTheWorldAShot by supporting UNICEF's VaccinAid appeal in September 2021. For every staff member in Australia who had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Kennedys donated ten COVID-19 vaccines for health workers, teachers or vulnerable people around the world. UNICEF's mission was to deliver 2bn vaccines, 5.6m tests and 5.5m treatments globally in a year. Kennedys CSR Partner in Australia Emily Schneider launched this initiative to mark the UN’s International Day of Charity because “no one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

We help children’s literacy charity, the Pyjama Foundation, through book and educational toy donations and fundraising to support the foundation’s mission to give children in foster care the opportunity to change the direction of their lived with learning, life skills and confidence.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, our team recently hosted a virtual gathering with the Hong Chi Association (Oi Tung Hostel) to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with Hong Chi residents.  Despite not being able to visit the residents in person, everyone enjoyed various activities including singing and dancing virtually.   The office also invited the farmers of AuLaw Organic Farm to our Hong Kong office. The farmers shared their knowledge of organic and sustainable farming, recommended some healthy recipes and set up a pop-up stall so that our staff could purchase their freshly harvested produce. Our people learnt how organic farming can help the environment by reducing the carbon footprint whilst giving us fresher produce without the use of pesticides or chemicals.

EMEA

Dubai

A christmas appeal was organised by CSR Champions in Dubai to enable colleagues to donate basic necessities like food and toiletries in aid of in support of SmartLife's mission to support workers located in labour camps through their distribution scheme.

SmartLife is a non-profit organisation that assists blue-collar workers in the UAE, with whom the Dubai CSR Committee has supported for several years.

Spain

Our team in Madrid has signed a collaboration agreement with Comillas Pontifical University (ICADE) through its Legal Clinic programme. ​​​​​​​ICADE Legal Clinic is a pro bono programme where students from the university voluntarily participate in different projects with NGOs. At least once a month, our lawyers meet with students to review the current status of their cases along with taking part in weekly follow-up calls. More recently, an Associate has pioneered a new program with the Association of Young Professionals in Insurance which is dedicated to addressing the youth unemployment crisis in Spain.  Beginning in November, young people will be introduced to this new and innovative Insurance Leadership Program which aims to develop their skills around how to seek specific roles within the insurance sector and also offered practical advice on how to carry out job searches.

Latin America

CSR Champions in Mexico organised a clothes, food, and toy collection in support of local charity Casa de la Amistad in the run-up to the United Nations' International Day of Volunteers. This local charity supports children and young people with cancer from Mexico's most deprived areas; their support provides a comfortable and welcoming place to stay for families traveling from afar to receive cancer treatments, as well as vital medication and food. The organisation also encourages supporters to shop from their "Gifts with Cause" store, which the team in Mexico plans to utilise to buy gifts for clients.   

Everyone in the Mexico office contributed to the donation drive and is looking forward to working with the charity again soon.

United Kingdom

Belfast

Team Belfast recently embarked on an epic 850-metre climb up Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland's highest peak, and Ireland's highest climb, to raise funds for the people of Ukraine.

The weather was kind, and after some steep climbs and a few stops to take in the magnificent views and refuel, the summit was reached in just over 3 hours. A few more hours for the descent, and the 10km round trip was complete in 6 hours.

​​​​​​​An incredible £3,610 was raised and will be matched giving a grand total of £7,120 as a contribution to our Campaign for Ukraine.

Scotland

Throughout May, 13 lawyers from law firms in Scotland challenged themselves to virtually run from Edinburgh to Kyiv to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine amid the ongoing atrocities and raise some money for the UK Disaster Relief Charity. 

Each runner committed to running 208km with an average run of 6.7km a day.

An incredible £8,565 was raised and a total distance of 2698km was covered.

Other UK initiatives across our offices include participating in the London, Cambridge, Chelmsford Legal Walks and the London Marathon; food bank donation drives in London for the Trussell Trust; and a UK-wide Christmas gift appeal for Beyond the Bow that resulted in a donation of £14,000 worth of gifts to Action for Children. We are also establishing local charity partnerships in Sheffield, Birmingham, Taunton, Manchester, and Belfast.

Our school's outreach programme continues with new student mentoring and work experience programmes being developed in Scotland, Manchester and Birmingham.

Taking action for the SDGs at Kennedys

Michelle Blythe

Michelle Blythe

Michelle is Kennedys’ CSR Manager and oversees our global corporate social responsibility programme. Michelle supports the Firm’s efforts to tackle social and environmental challenges by using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework and integrate the SDGs into global and local initiatives.

Ben Aram

Ben Aram

Ben is Head of Kennedys’ Corporate and Commercial Division and a member of the firm’s Global Board. He is also the Global Board Sustainability sponsor.

Marianne Blattès

Marianne Blattès

Marianne joined Kennedys in 2021 as our Diversity and Inclusion Manager, and manages our D&I programmes and initiatives around the world.

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