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Safeguarding Statement

Statement

Walker Morris LLP (the Firm) makes a positive contribution to the community and recognises the right of every individual to be kept safe and protected from harm.

We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and/or young people and adults with care and support needs within the activities we undertake.

This statement seeks to ensure that the Firm undertakes its responsibilities effectively in this regard and will respond to concerns appropriately.

References to we, us and Walker Morris LLP in this statement relate to the Firm 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 50 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.

Activities

We act for sophisticated users of legal services, both organisations and individuals.  We do not represent children and our involvement with children is therefore very limited and not related to our work activities and delivery of professional legal services.  The types of activities which would bring us into contact with children relate to our corporate responsibility and pro bono activities.  Our aim is 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 and we therefore undertake activities which relate to volunteering, fundraising for charities, CSR activities and pro bono charity advice.

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.

The types of activities the Firm might be involved in and which might result in interaction with children and/or young people or adults with care and support needs include those listed below. These activities are supervised by the organisations we are supporting and are undertaken in line with their policies.

  • our annual Children’s Charity Calendar Competition where we financially support art in primary schools with all proceeds from the Calendar going to Martin House Children’s Hospice
  • volunteering to help schools with renovation and improvements, for example painting and decorating a school playground
  • pro bono work with our nominated charities from time to time
  • mentoring university law students whilst studying.

Policies

We have a number of policies in place which support our safeguarding ethic and these include:

  • Whistleblowing Policy
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Recruitment, vetting, induction and training policies and procedures

These are reviewed and updated on an annual basis and are available in the Firm’s Compliance Manual and on our staff intranet as well as in training modules.

We take a risk-based approach to DBS checking for example normally we would only undertake a DBS check where requested by our clients/ charities/organisations we support.

Responsibilities

All employees have the responsibility to act as excellent role models and to report any welfare concerns to our Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Our Designated Safeguarding Officer is Tracy Foley.  Her contact details are tracy.foley@walkermorris.co.uk and telephone number 0113 2832500.  Any concerns on safeguarding issues by Walker Morris employees should be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Officer whose responsibility it is to provide advice and support to employees on safeguarding issues.

Board approval

This Safeguarding Statement has been approved by the Board of Walker Morris LLP on behalf of the members.

 

Last updated: 28th July 2021