We are committed to playing our part to achieve greater efficiencies by: conducting our business in a responsible manner; enhanced levels of performance and client service; stronger and deeper relationships with other organisations and stakeholders which share our values and beliefs; and a sound reputation for being a responsible employer and professional services firm. We have a strong set of values being: service; professionalism; integrity; respect; innovation an trust (SPIRIT). Our relationships and the way we go about our work is founded upon those foundations.
We are committed to minimising our impact on the local, national and global environment. We encourage our staff and look to engage with other businesses which share such commitment.
We aim to:
The Environmental Committee, chaired by the Practice Director, is responsible for recommendations and processes to reduce the Firm’s impact on the environment. In 2016 our carbon footprint (2.97ECO2e per staff member according to Greenstone Carbon Management. This provides us with a measure to benchmark our progress with ongoing carbon reduction strategies. At our office at 1 London Road Southampton we use geothermal heated water from Cofely District Energy, an environmentally friendly substitute for gas. In past the Firm has 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 is a member of the Legal Sector Alliance, a Law Society group that is committed to taking action on climate change.
The Firm’s staff are key to the Firm’s Purpose which is to enable our clients to succeed through having a positive experience with legal excellence. A key element of the Firm’s Vision is to be the region’s first choice for lawyers, secretaries and support staff for which to work. We are committed to inspiring all within the firm to reach their full potential. We engage best practice in the leadership, management and development of all members of the Firm, communicating with our people and understanding their challenges or concerns. We value our people and look to empower them, to give them work which they find rewarding and challenging and to remunerate them fairly. We consider that we are an integral part of the talent stream of the region. We regularly seek feedback from staff through team meetings, our Staff Liaison Committee, and our staff opinion surveys.
Support for Charities
Paris Smith supports a wide range of charities. Each year the Firm has 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 charity is Age UK.
We are a member of the 100 Club of The Rainbow Centre, Fareham. 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. 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, all of which benefited from significant financial donations. We provide conferencing and meeting room facilities for our supported charities and a charity contribution is made in lieu of Christmas cards each year.
For Paris Smith’s 200 year celebration, we have worked in collaboration with both a charity partner of the year and also in producing an in-house volunteering programme. Paris Smith’s 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. We have successfully held several fundraising events including bake sales, dress down day and both staff and client parties. Paris Smith has also raised awareness in relation to these charities and their campaigns by introducing our staff via regular updates and staff lunches.
Volunteering leave has been set up and advertised throughout the firm. The Firm have been allowed one volunteering leave day for the year. The staff have coordinated themselves into teams for certain activities but have also gone out on their own for various different activities. The volunteering leave has been very successful and so far we have committed approximately 550 hours of staff time to local charities through this volunteering programme.
We actively support local sports and the arts. We have had a close connection with Hampshire Cricket Club for decades and the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton for over 20 years. The current sponsorship agreement with the Mayflower Theatre runs to 2020 and is one of the longest running sponsorship agreements of its kind in the UK. An 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.
In 2016 the Firm entered into a 3 year corporate partnership with Hampshire Fare, supporting Hampshire’s food and drink producers.
In 2017 we worked with the Winchester School of Art, sponsoring the Head of School’s annual reception for their end of year show. The school, its staff and students, have worked with us collaboratively to produce a piece of work themed on “The future of money”.
Collaborative partnering is prevalent across the Firm in our relationships with stakeholders and other organisations across the region. This includes working with the Business School of the University of Southampton.
We have a collaboration with Hockley Golf Club in Winchester providing funds to the Club. This provides an opportunity to host events at the Club on the outskirts of Winchester, as well as entertaining clients and contacts at one of the finest golf courses in Hampshire.
Pro Bono Legal Advice
Our lawyers have a long tradition of providing free or low cost legal services to a number of local trusts, charities and other not for profit organisations. This covers a wide range of issues including tax, planning, commercial property and employment. We also offer charities free membership of our Charity Forum. We also host an annual charity conference which attracts attendance from across the South region to hear high profile speakers, including in 2017 the Charity Commissioner and in 2016 the Government Minister with responsibility for charities.
Many members of the Firm are trustees or board members of regional and local charities and the Firm encourages staff to take such positions.
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.
Supporting Local Business
At Paris Smith we are committed to investing in the infrastructure of the local community.
We 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. 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 support the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and we are a founder City Champion for Business South, promoting the region for the good of all businesses.
Modern Slavery Statement
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