Southampton 02380 482 482
Winchester 01962 679 777

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy Statement

Being part of a long established law firm, with a history of over 200 years, working in our local and regional community is a privilege. Encouraging wellbeing and championing sustainability is important to us.

Our purpose and values

Our purpose is to enable our clients to succeed through having a positive experience with legal excellence.

Our values known as the ‘SPIRIT’ of Paris Smith (service; professionalism; integrity; respect; innovation and trust) are the foundations of our relationships and the way we do business. This means:

  • Developing stronger and deeper relationships with clients and stakeholders which share our values and beliefs
  • Having a sound reputation for being a responsible employer and professional services firm
  • Committing to delivering greater efficiencies through responsible business management
  • Continually delivering excellent levels of performance and client service
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Our People

Our people are our most important assets.

We want to be the region’s first choice for lawyers and supporting legal teams for which to work.

We value our people, encourage empowerment and are committed to inspiring everyone to reach their full potential. We do this by:

  • Engaging best practice in the leadership, people management and personal development across all organizational levels
  • Valuing the wellbeing of our people and offering support and advice on multiple levels
  • Regularly seeking employee feedback from everyone through our team meetings, Staff Liaison Committee and staff opinion surveys
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Reducing our environmental impact

We are committed to minimising our impact on the local, national and global environment. We encourage collaboration and working in partnership with other businesses which share our values and sustainability commitments. We are committed to:

  • Raising environmental awareness when making business decisions
  • Using energy and water in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner
  • Using environmentally sound and sustainable resources across our supply chain
  • Recycling to minimize the quantity of waste material
  • Providing our employees with a safe, hygienic and comfortable working environment

Our Environmental Committee is responsible for recommendations and processes to reduce the firm’s impact on the environment. Our achievements include:

  • In 2017 our carbon footprint was 1.5 tCO2e per staff member (down from 2.17 the previous year), according to Greenstone Carbon Management. This provides us with a measure to benchmark our progress with ongoing carbon reduction strategies. Our main Southampton office uses geothermal heated water, an environmentally friendly substitute for gas, supplied by the Southampton District Energy Scheme (SDES) operated by ENGIE.
  • In the past, we have been recognised by the Sustainable Business Partnership for a Sustainable Business award. The commendation on the award reads “In recognition of excellence in the field of economic, social and environmental sustainability as a part of the firm’s business model, and for being an inspiration to other businesses in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight“.
  • The Firm has signed up to the principles of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, a Law Society group of leading law firms taking positive action on climate change by measuring, reducing and reporting on their carbon footprint.
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Supporting local charities

Each year we have a charity of the year, selected by the staff and partners, for which it raises funds through a variety of activities and events. For example, in 2019 our nominated charities are Age UK Southampton, Trinity Winchester and the Winchester Hospice.

Charities supported in previous years have included The Murray Parish Trust and Southampton Hospital Charity, the County Air Ambulance Trust, the Alzheimer’s Society, NSPCC, Wessex Cancer Trust, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Rose Road, Breast Cancer Haven – Wessex and Children in Need.

We provide conferencing and meeting room facilities for our supported charities and a charity contribution is made in lieu of Christmas cards each year.

CASE STUDY
200th Year Staff Charity

In 2018 we celebrated our 200th year and worked in collaboration with both our charity partner of the year and also by producing an in-house volunteering programme.

Our staff voted across several charities and the outstanding winner was the Murray Parish Trust in conjunction with the Southampton Hospital Charity’s appeal for their Trauma Unit.

During 2018 we successfully held several fundraising events including bake sales, dress down day and both staff and client parties. We also raised awareness in relation to these charities and their campaigns by introducing our staff via regular updates and staff lunches.
Volunteering leave was set up and advertised throughout the firm. We delivered in excess of 750 hours of staff time to local charities as a result of our volunteering programme.

In 2019 we became a patron of the Knights Foundation.

A number of members of the firm give their time to charities and causes across the region and specifically in Southampton and Winchester, from where we serve our clients. Many members of the firm are trustees or board members of regional and local charities and the firm encourages staff to take such positions. In addition, our lawyers have provided free or low cost legal services to a number of local trusts, charities and other not-for-profit organisations covering a wide range of issues including tax, planning, commercial property and employment advice.

We also offer charities free membership of our Charity Forum. We host a charity conference which attracts attendance from across the central south region to hear high profile speakers, who have included the Charity Commissioner, the Government Minister with responsibility for charities, chairmen, chief executives, fundraisers of national charities and philanthropists .

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Supporting our local arts and sport communities

We have enjoyed a close connection with Hampshire County Cricket Club for decades.

Our sponsorship agreement with the Mayflower Theatre is one of the longest running sponsorship agreements of its kind in the UK. One element of the support for the theatre has been sponsoring the Summer Youth Project, providing an opportunity for young people to perform at the Mayflower Theatre.

We also support the Winchester Theatre Royal and are a corporate partner of Hampshire Cultural Trust (which administers over 20 museums and galleries across Hampshire). Other sponsorships and collaborations include: Winchester Poetry Festival, Winchester School of Art.

We also have sponsorships in place with Hockley Golf Club in Winchester and East Horton Golf Club in Eastleigh.

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Supporting business and economic prosperity

We are committed to investing in the infrastructure of the local community.

Our policy is to deal with suppliers who themselves have adopted sustainable business practices and are keen to support the local community. This is achieved via our Sustainable Procurement Policy.

We therefore seek to source goods and services provided by local businesses which share our values and beliefs. We have arrangements for the provision of photocopy machines, electrical, plumbing, refurbishment services, furniture, stationery supplies, training, design and printing, cleaning, catering, hospitality services, staff benefit advice and business insurances.

We are active promoters of the cities in which we work and their communities by showcasing their economic and cultural credentials. We host an annual programme of events which includes business leaders’ dinners, seminars and conferences to foster thought leadership – and encourage collaboration and partnership working.

We support the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and are a founder City Champion for Business South, promoting the region for the good of all businesses.

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Safety and welfare

The health and safety of our staff, clients and other visitors to our offices is a priority. In recent years this has been recognised by the British Safety Council via an International Safety Award. It is believed that Paris Smith LLP is the only law firm in the South of England to have received this accolade.

Modern Slavery Statement

For details on our Modern Slavery Statement please follow the link.

Contact

Alan Cousins
Practice Director

T: 023 8048 2312
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