The United Kingdom Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“MSA”) requires certain businesses to provide disclosure concerning their efforts toensure there is no modern slavery or trafficking in their organisation or supply chain.
The following is the statutory statement by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Description of business and supply chain
Description of business
Charles Russell Speechlys is an international law firm which provides advice to businesses and individuals across a number of different specialisms. It employs around 1,000 staff and has offices in London, Cheltenham, Guildford, Paris, Doha (Qatar) and Manama (Bahrain).
Charles Russell Speechlys takes its duties of Corporate Social Responsibility very seriously. These are at the heart of everything we do and that includes our recruitment policies, vendor selection and supply chain management. We also take extremely seriously our legal and compliance obligations in our business conduct and strive to observe these fully. This includes our duties under the MSA.
Charles Russell Speechlys adopts a zero tolerance stance in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking. We will not work with suppliers where it comes to our attention that they have been involved in offences related to forced labour and child labour.
Description of our supply chain
Charles Russell Speechlys has a large supply chain, comprised of the types of vendor expected for a professional services firm of our size and scale. Our suppliers include, for example, the landlords of our premises, utilities and providers of IT equipment, stationery and catering services.
Details of checks and due diligence to be conducted on members of the supply chain
In response to the MSA, Charles Russell Speechlys has put in place the practice of auditing new and on-going members of our supply chain by requiring them to answer detailed questionnaires relating to their own business plans.
As part of this, we are requiring suppliers to divulge to us information about certain practices in order to assess whether there could be slavery or human trafficking in their organisation or supply chain. Charles Russell Speechlys is willing to terminate relationships with suppliers where they are found to present an unacceptable risk in terms of their modern slavery or human trafficking exposure.
Senior members of our management team have already been provided with detailed advice in relation to the issues of modern slavery and human trafficking. Charles Russell Speechlys has implemented a training programme for staff to raise awareness of these issues.
All training carried out will be either face-to-face or electronic and we intend to test employees' knowledge at the end of the training.
The level of training needed will be proportionate to the role an individual performs and the likelihood of their becoming exposed to instances of modern slavery or human trafficking in carrying out their duties.There will be a particular focus on our HR and procurement management staff.
In the context of our own organisation, we are committed to the principle that those who work for us must have chosen their work freely and must be treated with dignity. Charles Russell Speechlys is committed to paying its workers no less than the applicable minimum wage.
Violations by employees
Charles Russell Speechlys will take very seriously any instance of suppliers being involved directly or indirectly in modern slavery or human trafficking. Our response to any such discovery will depend upon a number of factors, including the number of victims involved, the gravity of the human rights violations concerned, whether the supplier was involved directly or indirectly and whether or not the supplier has been involved in such conduct previously. Where practicable, we will aim to work with the supplier and provide assistance to remedy any identified concerns.
Charles Russell Speechlys will not tolerate any of its officers or employees being involved in modern slavery or human trafficking.
Our Firm has a whistleblowing policy through which employees can raise any suspicions they may have from time to time that modern slavery or human trafficking may be taking place in Charles Russell Speechlys’ organisation or supply chain. Employees are reassured that where suspicions are reported in good faith, they will receive no sanction if these ultimately turn out to be unfounded.
Charles Russell Speechlys has considered in detail the nature of its operations and supply chain and has put in place a process to identify particular risk areas for the business. This process will guide how we channel our resources in terms of training and supplier auditing.
Effectiveness of policies
In general, we will keep our slavery and human trafficking policies and due diligence processes under review to ensure their effectiveness in achieving the desired results:
HM Government guidance encourages organisations to adopt key performance indicators to assess whether their policies against slavery and human trafficking are effective or not.
In each financial year, in assessing the effectiveness of the policies, we will use the following KPIs:
- An audit of a significant proportion of suppliers within the relevant financial year. The findings of the audit will be presented to the Firm’s Executive Committee on an annual basis.
- All key procurement and supply management personnel are required to complete training each year. A register of training courses delivered in each year will be monitored and reviewed by the Director of Learning & Development.
- Charles Russell Speechlys will maintain a whistleblowing facility for staff to enable them to report suspicions of modern slavery or human trafficking occurring in the business or supply chain.
- Our reward philosophy is designed to meet or exceed the national living wage, or equivalent in other jurisdictions where we have operations. The Director of Human Resources will conduct reviews of salaries and wages each financial year to ensure we have met or exceeded the UK national wage or equivalent in other jurisdictions.
Any questions or queries in relation to this statement should be directed to [email protected].
SIGNED by JAMES CARTER for and on behalf of CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS LLP