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:
- Improving Access to Justice and Promoting Human Rights
- Our engagement with staff, clients and community
- Equal employment and diversity
- Environmental sustainability
Improving access to justice and promoting human rights
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.
Our engagement with staff, clients and community
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.
Solicitor Charlotte Haworth Hird is a member of the INQUEST Lawyers Group steering committee. She sits on Peace Brigade International's Lawyers Advisory Committee and is assisting Rethink with training and advice leaflets.
Associate Anna Mazzola is setting up a microsite with Galop (LGBT charity) on disregarding convictions.
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 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.
Associate Jude Lanchin has worked as a volunteer with Kids Company for their Safeguarding Team and Evening Club for young people at risk of exclusion; advice sessions about arrest rights and policing matters for Newham Monitoring Project; Advising Tottenham Defence Campaign; Management Committee member of Just for Kids Law.
David Oldfield is a member of the management committee at Lambeth Law Centre which provides free legal advice to members of the local community on housing, immigration, employment and discrimination issues.
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 group of our trainees and solicitors – Peter Nicholson, David Oldfield, Christine Quinn, Salima Budhani, Clare Jennings, Sashy Nathan, Anita Amendra and Carina Tong - researched and drafted three reports on the criminalisation of homosexuality in Dominica, Uganda and Sri Lanka. The reports are of will be used by the Human Dignity Trust in its strategic litigation project. All the volunteers put a huge amount of work into the research and drafting, almost all of it in their own time.
Several members of the Clinical negligence team offer pro bono support and legal advice to local advice clinics.
We support the following organisations:
- Action for Palestinian Children
- British Institute of Human Rights
- Camden Law Centre
- Discrimination Law Association
- Ealing Community Law Centre
- Hammersmith and Fulham Law centre
- Human Dignity Trust
- Lambeth Law Centre
- Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights
- Legal Action Group
- Legal Aid Practioners' Group
- London Irish Centre
- Peace Brigades International
- Public Law Project
- The Friends of St George's Gardens
- The Institute of Race Relations
- The Sheila Mckeknie Foundation
- Writers and Scholars Educational Trust (Index on Censorship)
Equal employment and diversity
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
- in the procurement of resources
- in the maintenance and use of its buildings and estate
- by the provision of information, instruction and training
- the consumption of resources
- the production of waste
- harmful emissions to air, land and water
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.