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Modern Slavery Statement 2016

Walker Morris is committed to playing its part in ensuring that the slavery of human beings is eradicated as quickly as possible.

This includes ensuring that there is transparency in our business and throughout our supply chains and reporting on the steps we have taken each year to achieve this, for the purposes of section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and to raise awareness of this horrific issue both within our own organisation and the wider community.

References to weus and Walker Morris in this statement relate to Walker Morris LLP on behalf of itself and all of its subsidiaries.

Our business

We are a single site, full service commercial law firm, based in Leeds focused on providing our clients both in the UK and internationally with partner-led, high quality, insightful advice. With a staff of over 450 including 47 partners, our single site has significant advantages in terms of developing a strong team-based, collaborative culture, with the inherent cost effectiveness that a Leeds base brings.

Our clients, many of whom are blue chip, are drawn from a broad range of sectors which includes manufacturing, retail, financial services, food and drink, technology and media, energy and renewables, construction, public sector and infrastructure, healthcare and sport.

We conduct all of our business in an honest and ethical manner. As a major employer in Yorkshire we recognise the importance of corporate responsibility and creating a positive social impact. We achieve this by supporting the community and people where we work and live and actively caring for the environment in which we operate.

We comply with all applicable legislation relating to employee terms and conditions, including pay, and none of our staff earn less than the Living Wage.

Corporate responsibility policy

Corporate responsibility is something that should be of concern to all businesses. For Walker Morris this is about managing our business in a way that enhances the positive and minimises the negative economic, social and environmental impacts of our activities and services. We aim to combine the provision of high quality commercial legal advice to our clients with a rewarding working environment and an awareness of the wider community.

This involves balancing the interests of our stakeholders, who include our clients, our employees, the local community and relevant regulatory bodies. Our stakeholders are fundamental to the success of our business and to achieving our vision of the responsible delivery of legal services by highly motivated employees working with clients to produce commercial and cost effective solutions. Our CR policy builds on the values we hold as a firm for the benefit of all our stakeholders, and guides us in making a positive social impact.

Our CR strategy is focused on three key areas:

  • to promote an inclusive and supportive working environment and open up access to professional and development opportunities;
  • to be a responsible contributing member of our local community;
  • to minimise our environmental impact.

Working with our suppliers

We expect all of our contractors and suppliers to meet the same high ethical standards that we apply to our own business and we welcome the opportunities provided by the Modern Slavery Act to continue to enhance and strengthen our relationships with our suppliers.

The majority of our suppliers are UK-based and either provide goods and services to assist us in providing our professional services or themselves provide professional services alongside the legal services we provide to our clients.

Our initial assessment of our business and supply chains concluded that there is an overall low risk of modern slavery. However, we will continue to work with our suppliers to improve our practices and procedures to ensure that there is no modern slavery in our supply chains.

We are conducting a detailed review of how we engage with our existing suppliers and our processes for dealing with new suppliers. Once this review is complete, we will finalise our modern slavery policy and any necessary changes to our procurement procedures, including additional supplier due diligence and contractual protections as appropriate, as well as training our staff on the key points of these.

Our policies

We already have a number of policies in place, including an anti-bribery policy, a corporate responsibility policy and an equality and diversity policy.

We will review and update these and our other policies as appropriate once we have completed the detailed review of our supplier processes.

Board approval

This slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 30 April 2016 has been approved by the Board of Walker Morris LLP on behalf of the members, in accordance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act.

Malcolm Simpson, Managing Partner

November 2016