As CEO of Shoosmiths, I’m pleased to introduce our inaugural annual impact report.
The pandemic catapulted society and businesses into a new and different world, which saw old working practices replaced by new and advanced the adoption of new technology at a rapid pace. I’m proud of everything we have achieved over the last 12 months and our Impact Report tells the story of how during this difficult and exceptional time, we have continued to support our clients, communities and our people to deliver successful results for all.
For clients, we have developed new products and established new ways to enable them to access information, ideas and conversations. We’ve displayed how uniquely innovative and commercially astute we are with the launch of our non-legal arm Shoosmiths8 Connected Services; offering products that make a real difference to our clients’ working lives, enabling their businesses to thrive in the ‘new normal’. We’ve showed real progress towards our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals and given it is at the top of our Board agenda, we have facilitated conversations with clients to help them achieve their ESG aspirations, too.
We cemented our commitment to Social Mobility, through our Social Mobility Action Plan and continued to support the communities in which we work, through fundraising for our charity partners and our extensive pro bono programme. We are passionate about driving forward some of our ESG developments over the next 12 months including, our Shadow Board, Reciprocal Mentoring Programme and The Shoosmiths Foundation.
We were one of the first law firms to go out with new Working Principles, aimed at enhancing our approach to client experience. With an ethos of output not occupancy, our working principles, which have informed our new hybrid working approach, allow many of our people to combine onsite and offsite work to promote a more flexible and purposeful working experience.
All this works towards our vision: to be the leading national law firm, famous for our client experience.
I am excited for what the future holds, and for the next chapter in Shoosmiths’ evolving journey.
Our values and culture have never been more important than over the last 12 months. They are instrumental in the way we do business, the way we work with our clients and they allow us to progress in a changing world.
Our ESG vision is to be the leading UK law firm famous for its positive contribution to society. We believe it is increasingly important for businesses to lead the way to collectively combat climate change, to address the causes and the effects of inequality, to nurture talent and believe that it can come from anywhere.
For the last decade and beyond, Shoosmiths has led the way with incremental reporting on ESG factors and we bring elements of this together in this Impact Report. I believe this report impactfully shows the progress we have made and are making and gives us a benchmark on how to drive forward.
Our carbon neutral and carbon net zero ambitions sees us target our operations to achieve net zero emissions by 2025 and we have made a commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to set science-based emissions reduction targets across the entire value chain, that are consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
We are an ambitious, agile and fast-growing firm and our strategy moving forward is about developing our market leading expertise and promoting and attracting leaders to our business. Our national geographical footprint across the UK allows us to service our clients wherever they are, and we aim to increase our international focus, which has seen success over a number of years through direct client support alongside our membership of the World Services Group (WSG) and working with other law firms/referrers.
I’m proud of everything we have achieved over the last 12 months and I look forward to the next 12 months. As we begin to look ahead to a world beyond the pandemic, our focus is on how our firm can continue to support our clients and our people to find different and better ways to succeed.