Anti-modern slavery and human trafficking statement

Withers LLP is a London based law firm which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Withers LLP is part of a group of affiliated partnerships, offices and undertakings authorised to practice under the name ‘Withers’ or ‘Withersworldwide’

As an international law firm, our key assets are our people and our work product is legal services. The nature of our business means that our supply chains are relatively limited in number and short, and the risk of modern slavery within our business is low.

We are committed to ensuring that modern slavery does not take place anywhere within our business and that our supply chains are free from such activity. We have a culture of respect for individuals in which slavery and human trafficking has no place.

During the 2015/2016 financial year we have been putting in place a Modern Slavery Policy and have been communicating with our people about their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (‘the Act’).

Partners and staff with responsibility for the procurement of goods, services and/or labour (either directly, or indirectly through third party suppliers), are responsible for ensuring that our suppliers, contractors and business partners meet the firm’s ethical standards and zero tolerance approach to non-compliance with the Act.

The prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in all areas of our business is the responsibility of all those working for us. Whilst our culture is such that we encourage staff to raise concerns openly, we also have a formal whistleblowing policy in place which is designed to make it easy for staff to make disclosures.

The information given to agency staff and all contractors now includes summary information on the Modern Slavery Act and detailed information on who to contact should they feel that their human rights are being (or at risk of being) infringed.

We are currently looking to source a training programme, which we intend to rollout during 2017 with enhanced training for those involved in the procurement process. This will enhance our firm’s knowledge and understanding of the requirements under the Act and will ensure that we know how to identify areas of concerns and how to deal with them.

We are in the process of developing our procurement policy to ensure that all our suppliers, contractors and business partners are required to demonstrate that they, and any organisations within their own supply chains, comply with the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act and follow the firm’s stance on anti-modern slavery and human trafficking.

Our suppliers will be required to:

  • respect the firm’s values in relation to treating people fairly, with dignity and respect
  • ensure that they and each of their subcontractors comply with all applicable laws, statutes and regulations relating to the Act.
  • purchase resources, products or services only from organisations who do not use forced labour in their operations
  • to sign a statement of compliance and to notify the us should they become aware of any actual or suspected slavery or human trafficking occurring within their business or supply chain.

This is our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement pursuant to the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015, for the 2015/16 financial year.