Simmons & Simmons Young Talent Students at the Royal Courts of Justice
Firm at a glance
Message from our Senior Partner
At Simmons & Simmons, we seek to provide legal services according to the highest ethical and professional standards and we take our responsibilities to our clients, our people, our suppliers and the communities in which we do business seriously. We are proud of our culture of corporate responsibility (CR) which seeks to govern how we operate, how we interact with clients and each other, and how we participate in our local communities.
The challenging times in which we live mean that there have been many calls and pressures on our CR activities over the past year. This is not a complaint – just a recognition that there are so many organisations who look to firms like ours for help and support. I am proud that we rise to the challenge, albeit I am only too aware that there is much more that we could do. We will therefore continue to focus on having a meaningful impact on the organisations we support.
Our work has particularly focused around the theme of “access” – making the legal profession more accessible to people from lower income backgrounds; making the firm, and particularly our partnership, more accessible to a truly diverse range of talented lawyers; and making legal services and funding more accessible to those who cannot afford it. We also remain fully supportive of the UN Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption and are committed to building the principles into our policies, operations and culture.
Everyone in the firm has an important role to play in implementing our CR strategy and we have created opportunities for our people to participate in exciting and stretching legal and non-legal projects. The number of globally recorded pro bono hours has increased by nearly 40% and we have seen a growing commitment to community projects, particularly those that address social inclusion. We are also increasingly working on projects alongside our clients and suppliers.
We report on our progress in this review, but if there is one initiative of which I am cautiously the most proud, it is our Young Talent programme and our association with Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, London. The scale of this project and the opportunities it provides (for our staff and students) have already surpassed our expectations. It has the potential to become much more than a local community project. Indeed, I hope we are on the road to establishing a unique scheme that places our staff and students on an equal footing where we are learning as much from the students as they are from us.
Engagement in our CR activities means that we ask our colleagues, clients and suppliers to give up time and often to make personal sacrifices. This can be challenging when we have so many other business demands on our time as well as a need to maintain a personal and family life. I am immensely grateful to everyone who has become involved in our many activities around the globe and I am pleased that we are increasingly building our responsibilities into our everyday business activities.
Whilst I am sure 2013/2014 will be as challenging professionally as the last few years have been, we recognise the growing needs, legal and non-legal, of the communities around us. We will remain committed to playing a leading role in addressing these.
Thank you to all who have played their part and enabled the wonderful work captured in this Review.