Corporate Social Responsibility

Policy Statement

Breens Solicitors Ltd is Lexcel accredited.  Lexcel is the quality mark for the legal sector.  We undergo rigorous annual checks to ensure we meet the high standards needed to achieve this prestigious award.

Our commitment to excellence within the legal sector extends into the wider community in which we work, therefore we have detailed in this policy our aims, actions, and achievements in making a positive contribution to the local economy, environment and the wider social responsibility of the firm.

This policy covers our offices at 30 Hoghton Street, Southport and 34 Crosby Road North, Waterloo and is complemented by our policies and procedures regarding:

  • Equality in the Work-place
  • Health & Safety
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Client Care
  • Outcome-focused risk assessments
  • Lexcel accreditation
  • Investors in People accreditation

This statement covers our approach in dealing with our employees, clients, suppliers and the local community.

Employment

Through investment in our best resources, our people, Breens has been awarded Investors in People continually since 1995.  This has been achieved through:

  • Good employee relations
  • Regular review of training needs
  • Mentoring and apprenticeship programmes
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Good internal communication
  • Consultation with employees
  • Stringent Health and Safety procedures

We believe we have a positive effect on local employment by providing quality jobs and career opportunities within the local community.  In turn this leads to sustainable employment of an educated work-force.

Breens believes in offering opportunities to all to gain access to the historically ‘exclusive profession’ of the law.  Since March 2012 we have taken part in the Government-backed Apprenticeship Scheme which enables 18 to 21 year olds to gain valuable, paid work-experience while they complete an NVQ for up to     12 months.

Breens is committed to the scheme and will ensure the following:

  • that the work-experience is of value and the work varied in nature
  • that the apprentice is offered the appropriate training and supervision
  • that where possible the apprentice will be offered a position within the company at the end of his or her 12 months
  • that they can work towards a recognised qualification while working at Breens
  • that the apprentice is allowed time to meet with his or her NVQ assessor

The scheme is beneficial to Breens in that the firm retains a well-trained, qualified member of staff who is able to progress in the company without the need for further recruitment.

Environment

Protection of the environment in which we live and operate is part of Breens’ philosophy. As well as recognising that the firm’s activities has an impact on the environment as a whole, we consider it to be sound business practise to reduce our energy consumption and waste-disposal.  Therefore, Breens will aim to:

  • Comply with all relevant environmental legislation, regulations and approved Codes of Practise
  • Protect the environment by minimising our contribution to pollution of land, air, and water
  • Seek to keep wastage to a minimum and maximise the efficient use of materials and  resources
  • Manage and dispose of all waste in a responsible manner and in line with the Data Protection Act
  • Provide training for our staff so that we all work in accordance with this policy statement
  • Monitor and report on our environmental performance with a view to improvement
  • Ensure that environmental factors are considered during planning and implementation of new projects

The nature of our work as a law firm means that we do not inherently have a high Environmental impact but we aim to reduce our carbon foot-print through good practise. This will include:

  • Reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible by utilising public transport, car-sharing, and attending webinars
  • Sourcing and buying locally to save fuel costs wherever possible
  • Ensuring that all lights and equipment are switched off when not in use
  • Ensuring that water is used efficiently – good maintenance – no dripping taps etc
  • Using scrap paper for drafts and notes
  • Printing in mono and double sided wherever possible
  • Email where possible taking into account any legal implications
  • Providing digital versions of documents where possible
  • In the future we hope to set up an online document exchange to speed up the processing of documents and to minimise paper wastage
  • Recycling as much waste as possible
  • Look for new and innovative ways of recycling
  • Sourcing recycled materials wherever possible
  • Working with like-minded suppliers who take steps to minimise their environmental impact
  • Where possible, recruiting the best people locally to reduce the impact of their commuting
  • Provide a quality service for local clients, taking into account the legal requirements of the community in which we work

Local Community

Our aim is to make a positive contribution to the local community. Therefore, the company directors will forge links with the local community by:

  • Working with and supporting local and national charities
  • Encouraging volunteer work in community activities
  • Supporting local networking events

We believe that a strong link to the community will positively affect the production and growth of the firm.

Charity

As part of Breens commitment to giving back, we nominate a charity of the year.  Our chosen charity for the year 2016/17 is the Alzheimer's Society.

Clients

Client care is at the core of Breens’ business philosophy.  The partners will ensure that we deal responsibly, openly and fairly with clients and potential clients by:

  • Ensuring that all our advertising and documentation about the business and its activities is not misleading
  •  Being open and honest about our products and services and telling   customers what  they want to know, including what we do to be socially responsible
  • Avoiding pressure selling techniques
  • Dealing with complaints in a prompt and fair manner and in line with our complaints’ policy
  • Monitor and evaluate what we do in order to constantly improve our competitive edge in the marketplace

Goods and Suppliers

The company directors will aim to deal fairly with all suppliers by:

  • Sourcing and buying ethically produced fair trade products where possible
  • Ensuring that we use local suppliers where possible
  • That we pay on time

The overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with the directors of Breens’ Solicitors Ltd.  However, every employee is expected to give their full co-operation to the above principles in their activities at work. Consultants and visitors are also expected to apply our environmental principles.

The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored and reviewed at least annually to ensure the firm’s continuing compliance with any relevant legislation and to meet new business requirements.

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