This statement is published on behalf of gunnercooke LLP pursuant to section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. It constitutes our modern slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 30 December 2022.
Introduction from Darryl Cooke, Executive Chairman
‘’Every day we must advise our clients on their responsibilities, their rights, their ethical and professional obligations, and the consequences of getting them wrong. We take this role very seriously and encourage our clients to take a greater role in the World and their community. We take the same approach with our own business and try to hold ourselves to the highest standards at all times.
As one of the UK’s leading law firms, we have a responsibility to uphold and champion the rule of law and to further its reach wherever we can. We support the UK Government’s objective of eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking in all its forms, and are committed to ensure that human rights abuses, however they may arise, are recognised and eradicated in our business and supply chains and will seek to influence and encourage our clients to do the same.
We believe in the equality of all human beings and will do whatever we can to create a better and more equal world and society for the good of all.’’
gunnercooke is a full-service law firm, founded to change the way legal services are delivered to clients and how lawyers balance their lives. The firm’s innovative model sees partners with a minimum 10,000 hours practicing experience becoming trusted advisers to their clients, providing certainty of price and delivering the best quality advice.
At present gunnercooke services over 30,000 clients and comprises more than 300 senior lawyers across London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, , Edinburgh, and Glasgow offices.
The firm has also expanded into several specialist groups offering professional services, including gunnercooke Associates, management consultancy gunnercooke Coaching, gunnercooke Private Equity, and a charity group connecting business leaders with small charities, the gunnercooke foundation.
Our principal partnership is gunnercooke LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated under English law.
Our supply chains relate to our professional services by supplying personnel, services, and occasionally goods to support the services we provide to our clients. Majority of our suppliers are local to our offices, whereas others are engaged globally.
Our policies on slavery and human trafficking
We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. gunnercooke’s Anti-Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains. We ensure our suppliers are aware of our policies and adhere to the same high standards as part of our supplier onboarding process.
Due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking
As a regulated provider of legal and professional services the risk of modern slavery in our business is considered low. We implement high workplace standards; we provide competitive remuneration and have put in place diversity & inclusion policies.
As part of our efforts to monitor and reduce the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring within our supply chain, we have adopted internal audit procedures of all our suppliers on an annual basis. This involves a risk assessment against each supplier on the following factors:
a. Country of supplier
b. Transparency International CPI
c. Freedom House List
d. Goods/Services provided
e. Annual spend & Supplier relationship
This risk assessment also comprises of reviewing public source of information and the information we have been provided upon the onboarding of any new suppliers since last year. We have reviewed supplier’s own modern slavery statements (where applicable) and other relevant available policies and procedures, such as diversity & inclusion policies, their transparency, presence on the internet, and adverse media.
This risk assessment exercise has been completed in respect of suppliers to all our offices in England and Wales. We have not identified any occurrence of modern slavery in our supply chain, nor have we identified any risks of modern slavery that have not been mitigated.
We believe that the risk of slavery and human trafficking within our supply chain is low, as most of our suppliers are professional services businesses who are at low risk by the nature of their sector and have robust Modern Slavery and Anti-Human Trafficking policies.
We have developed a Supplier Code of Conduct which applies to all our suppliers, and which sets out standards we expect them to observe, including but not limited to, modern slavery and human trafficking. This code is introduced to any new suppliers as part of our new onboarding procedures.
Where our standards are not met, suppliers are expected to take immediate remedial steps to ensure their activities in our supply chain are free from modern slavery and human trafficking.
Education and training
We invest in educating our staff to recognise the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business and supply chains. Through our training programme, all our employees are encouraged to identify and report any potential breaches of our anti-slavery and human trafficking policy. Employees are taught the benefits of stringent measures to tackle slavery and human trafficking, as well as the consequences of failing to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from our business and supply chains.
In order to detect any modern slavery in our business or supply chains, any concerns must be reported to a senior member of the firm without delay or fear of detrimental treatment. Our Anti-Slavery & Human Trafficking policy requires anyone who becomes aware or suspects modern slavery in our business or supply chains to report it to a member of the Leadership team, or to report it in accordance with our Whistleblowing policy.
During the past financial year, we have conducted an internal review of our supplier relationships. We have improved our supplier onboarding questionnaire for the next reporting period, which we believe will further
enhance our ability to take further steps regarding modern slavery risks across our business and in our supply chain.
We will continue to make efforts in identifying any significant risks in our business and supply chains and take any necessary actions to address and mitigate these risks.
This statement has been approved by the Leadership Team of gunnercooke llp.