Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme helps us pursue our commercial objectives in a way that is consistent with the values of the people who make up our business. We focus our CSR efforts on three categories: diversity and inclusion, pro bono and community service, and sustainability.
Diversity & Inclusion
We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion among all staff. It is intrinsic to everything we do and underpins our vision to be a premier global law firm. Established in 2003, our London Diversity Committee has developed a comprehensive diversity strategy that ensures we remain focused on achieving tangible results.
We believe all staff members play a crucial role in helping us develop our Diversity approach. We continue to welcome the involvement of our staff in diversity initiatives through our five focus groups: BakerEthnicity, BakerWomen, BakerBalance, BakerLGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender), and BakerOpportunity. The groups provide valuable insight to the Diversity Committee. Membership is open to all Firm employees.
We partner with a variety of organisations, such as the Social Mobility Foundation, Race for Opportunity, Opportunity Now, Stonewall, Pure Potential, Employers Forum on Disability and Working Families.
We are a member of PRIME, the work experience commitment from the legal profession. PRIME was established through the collective view that an industry standard was required to ensure fair access to quality work experience for school-age students across the UK. By signing up to PRIME, we are committed to provide work experience placements for students from less advantaged backgrounds to find out how the legal profession works — not just the role of lawyers, but information and insights into other functions like Finance, IT, Human Resources, Marketing and Business Development — showing just how many different career paths are available. The initiative will be evaluated on an annual basis to ensure all the firms signed up are achieving what the set out to. More details can be found on the PRIME website
Our recent diversity achievements include:
- We were ranked 4th in the 2011 Black Solicitors Network Diversity League Table.
- We were ranked 19th in the 2012 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index making us the 2nd best-placed law firm in the index.
- We won the award for Most Effective Diversity Programme - Social Mobility at The Lawyer Workplace and Diversity Awards 2012.
- We won the award for Employer of the Year at The Lawyer Workplace and Diversity Awards 2012.
- An increase in our ethnicity statistics at the graduate recruitment stage. In 2006, only 4% of our trainee intake were Black or Minority Ethnic (BME). That rose to 16% in 2008, then 21% in 2010. By 2012, 26% of trainees will be BME. We were shortlisted for the Race for Opportunity Awards on the basis of this work.
- 58% of our associates and 21% of our partners are women.
>View the full version
of our 2013 diversity statistics
Pro Bono & Community Service
Providing free legal work is a fundamental professional responsibility of lawyers. Our pro bono commitments cover a broad range of causes and organisations, reflecting the diverse interests of the people who work here. We are signatories to the LawWorks pro bono protocol and we make no distinction between pro bono and paid work when setting our lawyers’ hourly targets and budgets.
Our 2011 pro bono cases include:
- Working with the London office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Supreme Court case of HJ (Iran) & HT (Cameroon). The Supreme Court determined that gay, lesbian or bisexual asylum-seekers cannot be returned to countries where they would face persecution.
- Collaborating with the Public International Law and Policy Group for Tanzania on an analysis of UN Convention Against Torture and other international instruments governing terrorism and prohibitions against torture.
- Co-founding IbexEarth, a not-for-profit organisation that develops innovative ways for people to reduce their impact on the environment. Our IP department also provided advice to the World Land Trust, one of the environmental partners of IbexEarth.
We believe we have a responsibility to make a contribution beyond our commercial activities. The London office supports two charities, chosen by employees. Our current charities are Richard House Children's Hospice and MacMillan Cancer Support. We are also involved in community service, including reading schemes in local schools and offering an annual paid volunteer day to all staff to support their charity work.
We are committed to seeking all possible means to reduce our Firm’s impact on the environment. To further this, we created a Sustainability Committee to manage the work we are already doing, and to assess and implement new initiatives. The committee focuses its efforts on the following activities:
- Encouraging the use of our Cycle to Work scheme plus our pre-paid Oyster Cards for travelling to and from external meetings.
- Participating in the Legal Sector Alliance, a group of law firms and organisations committed to working together to reduce their carbon footprints and adopt environmentally sustainable practices.
- Introducing a scheme to send all of our food waste to anaerobic digestion that will significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
For more information about the London office's CSR programme, please contact:
Jennifer Barrow, Head of Diversity & CSR at +44 207 919 1352.
Read more about our CSR efforts in the United Kingdom brochure