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 2020.
INTRODUCTION FROM DARRYL COOKE, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
‘’Every day we have to 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 world’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.’’ Darryl Cooke, Executive Chairman
gunnercooke is a full-service commercial professional services 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 20,000 clients and comprises more than 280 senior lawyers across London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Berlin, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.
The firm has also expanded into several specialist groups offering professional services, including gunnercookeAssociates, 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 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.
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 also implement high workplace standards and have competitive remuneration and diversity & inclusion policies. We always strive to update our risk assessment to monitor and mitigate the emergence of any new risks to our business.
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.
Accordingly, our due diligence in the reporting period has been conducted on a risk-based approach. There is an ongoing internal review of our supplier relationships, after which we will review and recalibrate our due diligence processes for the next reporting period.
The suppliers were risk assessed and categorised by each department that engages them and were put in a central database. The risk assessment process comprised of reviewing public source of information, such as checks of their own modern slavery statement 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 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 will be introduced to any new suppliers this year and will be circulated to our existing suppliers after internal review of supplier relationships.
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 are committed to promoting and maximising awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking risks across our organisation, which is why we have launched an online training programme to be undertaken by all support staff. Although the management and leadership teams are generally responsible for contracts and supplier relationships, it is important to make everyone aware of risks to our business in order to maximise our compliance with legal obligations and to continue trading as a responsible and ethical business.
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 Modern Slavery & Anti-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 this financial year, we will conduct an internal review of our supplier relationships. We are in the process of implementing new due diligence measures for the next reporting period, which we believe will 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.