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Shoosmiths community investment policy

Shoosmiths is committed to making a clear and positive contribution to the communities in which we work and live and in circumstances where we can make a real difference. Our aim is to build and maintain sustainable community relationships so that our partnerships can have lasting results.

The commitment stems from the belief that our relationships with local and national communities should reflect both the firm’s core values and our responsiveness to those with whom we work.

Our approach to community investment is funding and people based, recognising that our colleagues want opportunities across our offices to get directly involved with the local community. We support:

  • Individual colleagues who wish to give their time to charitable and community initiatives
  • Local projects based in the communities where we work
  • National and international projects or disaster funds which receive support and commitment from across the firm

We are unable to respond positively to every request we receive. In particular we do not support:

  • Political parties or groups of any kind
  • Religious organisations
  • Personal appeals by, or on behalf of individuals

We have formal procedures for deciding how our community investment should be targeted, and we measure and report on progress.

Our colleagues play a key role in the decisions we make at national and at local level, both in the types of issues we address and the organisations we support. We also inspire and empower our people to use their skills to make a positive difference in our communities.

We are involved in a number of programmes to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable community relationships:

Shoosmiths Foundation - The Shoosmiths Foundation is a grant making body working to help address societal issues, to empower sustainable change and to improve the lives of the people and the environment in the UK. Its three funding priorities are to:

  • advance social mobility in the legal sector, and across the UK, in line with the Shoosmiths social mobility action plan. Particular focus on charitable organisations which share our belief that ‘talent can come from anywhere’, and which align their interventions with local socio-economic analysis and need;
  • advance a carbon net zero UK; and
  • advance access to justice in the UK.

Charity partners - we support both national and local charities. We help charities to meet their goals, through firm donations, staff fundraising, by the provision of our skills and experience as well as other in-kind support. In turn we gain an insight into societal challenges and how by supporting charities we can make a positive difference. We are particularly keen to collaborate with charities that are addressing one or more of the global Sustainable Development Goals in the UK and that can determine the impacts of our interventions and support. We also support charities that are addressing societal issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Legal assistance - as a leading national law firm, we are  committed to the provision of legal advice on a pro bono basis in all areas of law that are practised across the business in order to help individuals and organisations unable to afford to pay for that advice.

Volunteering - we encourage our colleagues to become involved in community projects and take paid time off work to support a charity or community group of their choosing. We recognise that this helps the groups as well as helping colleagues develop professional and personal skills that are valuable in the workplace. We offer guidance for colleagues on how they can volunteer and how to provide the best experience for the organisations they are helping.

Payroll giving - we provide our colleagues with the facility to make charitable donations through our payroll system and promote this option to all our people.

Pennies from Heaven – we provide colleagues with the facility to support our local charity partners through our involvement with this scheme which donates pennies from pay checks.

Colleague support - we provide match funding opportunities for colleagues involved in personal fundraising. We also open up our communication channels to help colleagues publicise activities they are undertaking on behalf of their favoured charities in order that colleagues can support them.


Date:
24 May 2021
Signed: Simon Boss, Chief Executive