Equality and Discrimination: post election priorities
7 October 2015
Diskus Room, Unite the Union
Equality and Discrimination: post election priorities
7 October 2015
Diskus Room, Unite the Union
Bindmans LLP is committed to acting as a responsible employer and also as a proactive member of our local and wider international communities. This includes ongoing initiatives across four key areas:
When Bindmans was set up in 1974 by the leading human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman, his vision was to create a law firm dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms of ordinary people. Over recent years, the firm has evolved to offer a broad range of services both to private individuals, NGOs, companies, and other organisations. However, that founding commitment – to fairness and to ensuring access to justice – remains at the heart of everything we do.
Today, it has one of the biggest dedicated public law departments in the country and remains a legal pioneer both nationally and internationally.
Our lawyers’ expertise and commitment to this complex field are unrivalled. We take on an unparalleled range of cases and regularly litigate in the highest UK courts, as well as the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.
Bindmans LLP accredited as Living Wage Employer
Bindmans LLP has become one of the first law firms to become an accredited Living Wage Employer.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, based on the cost living in the UK. The Living Wage campaign has been running for ten years and has lifted over 45,000 people out of poverty.
An independent study of the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London found that more than 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25%. 66% of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. 70% of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.
Partner Alison Stanley said “Bindmans has a commitment to be an ethical employer and we are delighted to support the Living Wage campaign.” Rhys Moore Director of the Living Wage Foundation said “The benefits the Living Wage brings to staff and business are clear. I welcome the leadership shown by Bindmans LLP on this important issue.” To find out more about becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer visit www.livingwage.org.uk
Equality, diversity and inclusion
We actively collaborate with community partners to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. This has resulted in a wide range of activities including involvement with local community organisations, volunteering, membership of committees, outreach activities and pro bono work.
Managing Partner, Alison Stanley, is a Trustee of the Law Society’s Charity, has been a trustee and chair of the Immigrants Aid Trust, charity associated with JCWI, for many years. Additionally, Alison has also been a Trustee of Paddington Arts for many years and is a Trustee for Belarus Free Theatre.
Partner Saimo Chahal acted for Liberty, Justice, Inquest and Mind in their intervention in the Supreme Court in the case of Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust  UKSC 2 to successfully argue that the protection of Art 2 of the ECHR should extend to non detained patients.
Partner Siobhan Kelly is a Trustee (and a member of) Headway North West London - a charity set up to provide support and services to people who have suffered an Acquired Brain Injury in our community. She also sits on the Welfare Committee for the London Irish Centre - LIC. LIC is a charity and an Irish community centre in Camden, London. For 60 years it has been both supporting Irish people in London and promoting Irish arts and culture. It’s welfare service is the largest for Irish people outside of Ireland who work with thousands of people to improve their housing, income, access to health, and social inclusion opportunities.
Partner Lynn Knowles is chair of Ealing Community Law Centre which was set up in 2011 when the main provider of social welfare law in the borough went into administration. The aim is to provide high quality free advice to the most vulnerable people in Ealing.
Partner Alla Murphy provides free Clinical Negligence legal advice once a week at the Brent Community Law Centre.
Senior Associate Jude Lanchin has worked with the charity, Kids Company in their Safeguarding Team and Evening Club for young people at risk of exclusion. Jude has advice sessions about arrest rights/policing issues for Newham Monitoring Project and other local projects. She has carried out extensive pro bono work in relation to Tottenham and policing issues and has advised Tottenham Rights. Jude is a member of the FCO-funded Lawyers’ Delegation which produced a Report on Palestinian Children in Military Detention and regularly speaks on Palestine/Israel issues. She provides support to Synergy Theatre Company (for prisoners) and is a member of the Haldane Society of Lawyers.
Associate Liz Barratt has been a Trustee since 2007 and is the current Vice Chair for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID).
Associate Charlotte Haworth Hird sits on the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association’s executive committee and is a member of the INQUEST Lawyers Group steering committee. Charlotte has assisted in the preparation of leaflets for OCD Action and has provided pro bono advice to Children Rights Alliance England.
Assistant Solicitor Sara Lomri is on the Management Committee for a local disability charity (Disability Action in Islington). She is also a member of the INQUEST lawyer’s steering committee and an advisor on the Liberty legal advice line. In her day job, Sara continues to advise a number of charities and NGOs including currently Children’s Rights Alliance England.
We have helped the Human Dignity Trust, which is a strategic litigation group set up to challenge the criminalisation of homosexuality in commonwealth countries.
A number of lawyers from across the firm have supported OCD Action and several members of the Clinical Negligence team offer pro bono support and legal advice to local advice clinics.
We support the following organisations:
Bindmans LLP is committed to equality and diversity and we strive to create and maintain an inclusive work environment in which all of our people are seen as individuals and where they are each supported and encouraged to achieve, regardless of gender, political or religious belief, race, disability, age or sexual orientation.
As a firm we regard equality as a core value, both in service and delivery as employers; and we find that the concept of equality is a developing aspiration, with constant challenges in ensuring compliance and best practice in all areas of employment law. We are a founding signatory of the Law Society’s Diversity Charter.
We recognise and accept our responsibility to minimise the impact of our business on the environment through responsible management of our buildings, minimising waste and recycling wherever practical.
Through properly developed and executed practices, we seek to sustain and improve its own environment and contribute to the protection of the local, national and global environments.
Bindmans has the following key environmental aims:
To enhance environmental awareness among its staff
On 8 May 2012 we moved a short distance down Gray’s Inn Road. We relocated about half a mile from our old office to a larger office space at number 236. Our office relocation strategy was very much based on recycling and also minimising our CO2 footprint.
Both the Property Agent and the Fit out provider were selected on their credentials in this area. Our involvement with City Green as our main contractor has meant that they were selected as certified and compliant suppliers for our project. There is an accreditation scheme within the sector and this was therefore an important criteria in their selection.
The firm has an environmental committee which has previously organised successful “Green Weeks” to promote environmental awareness and encourage participation. In addition, our environmental champions, consisting of representatives from each team within the firm, play an active role in promoting the efficient use of resources within the firm.
Focusing on environmental issues for the office relocation project was a natural outcome of the work of the committee and the environmental champions, and was at the heart project from the outset.
The major elements of the project were:
• The total recycling of existing glass partitions.
• The recycling of other ironmongery parts and screen fittings.
• Reutilising light fittings.
• Recycling, where possible, the carpet tiles for pre-manufacture into alternative products.
• Furniture and carpets were sourced from within the UK and attempts were made to minimise the energy used to source these products. The eco-credentials were noted from the manufacturer’s details and were part of our decision making.
• The design of the office has been set up in order to maximise natural light and minimise the need for additional lights and related issues.
• Even the colour scheme of the new offices is green!
The firm has benefitted from cost savings as a result of:
• A reduction in our paper usage from one and a half tonnes per month. This has been achieved through using a new printer strategy (using MFD devices) and also implementing the follow-me print strategy (this directly translates into a reduced CO2 footprint).
• Reducing our use of toner and recycling needs through the new printer strategy.
• We have changed our letterhead to reduce our reliance on expensive processed paper and also subscribed to supporting the tree recycling (planting) strategy as well.
• The firm’s new premises have adopted an automatic switch off system for its lights and power facilities thereby saving the demands on our electricity supply.
• Our air conditioning systems have been configured to utilise the requirements of different users and such flexibility has the prospect of achieving energy savings as well as better flexibility for users.
The firm is part of the climate change alliance within Camden Council and has been working in the background on some major recycling projects as part of the firm’s attempts to reduce our environmental impact.
Details of our environmental impact are as follows:
• We have developed an advanced confidential waste recycling strategy with a specialist supplier.
• We recycle all waste within our kitchen areas in suitable recycling containers far beyond the normal domestic waste strategy. We have special waste collection strategies each week to deal with the plastics, glass, metal, reusable paper and so on.
• We have placed waste bins and recycling receptacles within all our copy/print points in order to ensure all paper can be recycled.
• All members of staff have multiple bins in order to maximise our recycling potential.
2 July 2015
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