Community investment policy

Community investment policy

Shoosmiths is committed to making a clear and positive contribution to the communities in which we work and live and in circumstances where we can make a real difference. Our aim is to build and maintain sustainable community relationships so that our partnerships have lasting results.

This commitment stems from the belief that our relationships with local and national communities should reflect both the firm's core values and our responsiveness to those with whom we work.

Our approach to community investment is funding and people based, recognising that our colleagues want opportunities across our offices to get directly involved with the local community.

We support

  • Individual colleagues who wish to give their time to charitable and community initiatives 
  • Local projects based in the communities where we work 
  • National and international projects or disaster funds which receive support and commitment from across the firm

We are unable to respond positively to every request we receive. In particular we do not support:

  • Political parties or groups of any kind 
  • Religious organisations
  • Personal appeals by, or on behalf of individuals

We have formal procedures for deciding how our community investment should be targeted, and we measure and report on progress.

Our colleagues play a key role in the decisions that we make at national and at local level, both in the types of issues we address and the organisations we support.

We are involved in a number of programmes to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable community relationships:

Charity partners - we select charities at both a national and local level. We help charities to meet their goals, both through fundraising, and the provision of our skills and experience. In turn we gain an insight into societal challenges and how by supporting charities we can make a positive difference.

Legal assistance - as a leading law firm, we maintain a commitment to pro bono work, this often being linked to projects that form part of our wider community investment programme and in areas of the law where we have expertise.

Volunteering - we encourage our colleagues to become involved in community projects, and to take paid time off work to support a charity or community group of their choosing. We recognise that this helps the groups as well as helping colleagues develop professional and personal skills that are valuable in the workplace. We offer guidance for our colleagues on how they can volunteer in ways which do not negatively impact on the firm's commitment to client service.

Payroll giving - we provide our colleagues with the facility to make charitable donations through our payroll system and promote this option to all our people

Colleague support - we provide match funding opportunities for colleagues involved in personal fundraising. We also open up our communication channels to help colleagues publicise activities they are undertaking on behalf of their favoured charities in order that colleagues can support them.

Date: 20 April 2011
Signed: Claire Rowe
Chief executive