MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT – 2020/2021

This statement is made on behalf of Burness Paull LLP(“Burness Paull”) pursuant to Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). It has been approved by the Operations Board on 3rd February 2021 and is signed by our Managing Partner, Tamar Tammes.

The purpose of this is a statement is to set out the steps that we as a firm have taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not occurring in our business or in our supply chain.  In accordance with our culture of continuous improvement and development, we also set out the steps that we plan to take in the forthcoming financial year to improve upon and enhance our policies and procedures in this area.

OUR APPROACH

Burness Paull is a limited liability partnership registered in Scotland (SO300380) with 75 partners and 475 employees. It provides corporate legal services globally and is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. Adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards is one of our guiding principles. We are committed to preventing slavery or human trafficking in any aspect of our business or supply chain. We have undertaken an assessment of the risks of slavery or human trafficking and reviewed our existing business policies and procedures to ensure that the preventive measures are appropriate and proportionate to the level of risk.

OUR SUPPLY CHAIN

The United Kingdom has developed a culture of ethical business practice and strong labour regulation.  Our suppliers are mainly based within the UK.  As a law firm, we have a relatively simply supply chain, the purpose of which is to support our legal practice and internal office, including our technology functions.  We have assessed the overall risk for Burness Paull contracting with organisations that engage in slavery or human trafficking as being relatively low.

Our supply chain can broadly be broken into the following key categories:

  • Business Services: including catering, cleaning, travel services and outsourced document production and business process services.
  • Professional Services: including services provided by auditors, advisors (for example in relation to tax and insurance), consultants and other specialists.
  • Real Estate: including leases for our offices, services provided by security providers and contractors engaged in relation to fit-out works etc. and the purchase of office furniture and equipment.
  • Human Resources: including services in relation to recruitment and payroll.
  • Technology: including services provided in relation to our technology, software and equipment.

OUR WORK TO DATE

Within the last 12 months we:

  • implemented a central database which collates and shares information about suppliers across our business
  • continued to risk assess prospective suppliers at the outset of the procurement process,  confirming our suppliers have taken action to reduce the risk of slavery and human trafficking in their supply chain
  • delivered training and support to our employees involved in procurement in relation to the risk assessment and due diligence process
  • obtained more detailed information from ally suppliers identified as medium to high risk as to the steps they have taken to address slavery and human trafficking.

OUR FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS

In the next 12 months, in order to further reduce the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chain, we are committed to:

  • revisiting our modern slavery risk mapping across our supply chain to assess where modern slavery and human trafficking is most likely to arise.  This is recognition of Covid-19 which has heightened the risks of modern slavery in a range of sectors
  • publishing our Supplier Code of Business, which will set out the values and principles that are important to us and which we expect our suppliers to agree to in writing and follow.  We require our suppliers to adopt fair and ethical employment practices and they must take steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not occurring in their business or in their supply chain
  • continuing to ensure our procurement strategies and contract terms and conditions include reference to modern slavery and human trafficking, where applicable
  • taking action to embed zero tolerance towards modern slavery
  • taking all other necessary steps to ensure that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in any part of our business and supply chain.  Our commitment reflects our values of being a responsible business which operates ethically and with integrity.

Approved, and signed by

Tamar Tammes
Managing Partner

Our previous statement can be found below:

MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT – 2018/19
MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT – 2019/20