CSR & Diversity

The working atmosphere of a firm says a lot about its priorities and values. You’ll find Simmons & Simmons is supportive and inspiring from day one – somewhere that really brings out the best in people.

Charitable Giving

  • Simmons & Simmons is committed to making a contribution to charitable initiatives via the firm’s Charitable Foundation. Charities that we have actively supported over the last few years include The Big Issue Foundation, Spitalfields Music, City YMCA, Envision, UNICEF Netherlands, Five Talents UK and The Bingham Centre.

Community

  • We play an active role in our local communities. We aim to tackle social exclusion by creating opportunities for diverse or less privileged sections of society, local to each of our offices. Many of our initiatives are designed to support young people in education to access the legal profession and the world of work. These range from reading with young primary school children to supporting school leavers with advice about higher education and work opportunities. 

    Our partnership with Moreland Primary School is our longest running (over a decade) and each week a group of volunteers attends to support 10 and 11 year old students to improve their reading ability and skills, particularly where English is not their first language, and experience the joy of reading.

    In 2012, we developed our ambitious core social inclusion programme with Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow. Frederick Bremer is a mixed, multi-faith school, with significantly above regional average numbers of students eligible for free school meals. The firm also chose to work with Frederick Bremer as it is located in a London borough that is outside the usual catchment area of schools supported by City businesses.

    The programme is designed to raise students’ aspirations through a series of ongoing, longer-term initiatives that provide access to the legal profession and wider work opportunities. Each year, a group of twelve Year 10 students are selected, with input from both the school and the firm. We are committed to supporting each cohort of students for a seven year period during which they return to us every year to participate in a range of activities including work experience, skills workshops, project presentations, paid internships and group mentoring. Four years on, 62 young people are enrolled onto the Young Talent Programme. Four year 13 students have received the Simmons & Simmons bursary, which will assist them financially through every year of university and a further two students will be awarded the bursary in 2017.

    For a number of years the firm has participated in the Big Issue Vendor Development Programme, which sees a Big Issue vendor join our firm for a six month placement at our London office, selling the Big Issue magazine and undertaking a personalised work shadowing programme.

Diversity & Inclusion

  • We are proud of our reputation as a good and inclusive employer and one that provides our people with a decent workplace and environment where everyone is actively encouraged to be themselves. We focus our activities on 3 key strands: Gender balance, Race & Ethnicity and LGBT equality. We are pleased to have been recognised for our commitment to diversity & inclusion in the Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2016, the Working Families Top 30 Employers 2015 and to have achieved Stonewall Star Performer and Top Global Performer status in 2016.

    We also recognise that different perspectives make us stronger. That’s why we recruit from a broad range of backgrounds and cultures. In addition to our own recruitment diversity initiatives, we work with a variety of organisations – from SEO and Aspiring Solicitors to Stonewall, Opportunity Now and Race for Opportunity to Working Families and the Timewise Foundation – to engage with the widest possible range of talent pools. 

Environment

  • We have made a commitment to proactively manage our environmental footprint and progressively reduce the impact of our office-based operations on the environment. We were the first international law firm to achieve carbon neutral status across all of its offices worldwide in 2006, and continue this commitment today. Since we have become carbon neutral, our international carbon footprint has been reduced by 32%.

    We also participate in the World Wildlife Fund’s annual Earth Hour, the UN World Environmental Day and hold regular environmental events.

Networks

  • There are plenty of opportunities to get to know fellow colleagues better through networks, activities and social events. The firm’s eight employee-led networks are: Art; Christians in Simmons; International Islamic Community; Jewish Network; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Network; Simmons & Simmons Multicultural Network; Straight Allies and our women’s network, The Number One Club. We were also one of the eight founding firms behind NOTICED, an inter-firm initiative aimed at promoting ‘Networking Opportunities To Integrate, Celebrate and Educate on Diversity’ across the legal sector. We’re also involved in the recently launched London Bisexual Network.

    As well as a host of social groups, firmwide events and charity initiatives such as the London Legal Walk, Brighton Equality Walk and Tour de Law, we also have sports teams for activities including: chess; cricket; football; golf; hockey; netball; rugby; running; softball; squash; tag rugby; and yoga.

Pro Bono

  • Simmons & Simmons has been providing pro bono support for over 30 years. We believe that we have a responsibility as a professional law firm to support access to justice both at the local and international level. This means in practice providing legal support to both individuals and NGOs and charitable organisations. Our Pro Bono Strategy focuses on supporting Access to Justice in the UK through the UK Collaborative Plan on pro bono and the provision of individual casework in welfare benefits law. We also support organisations which promote the rule of law at the national and international level consistent with UN Sustainable Development Goal 16. We currently provide pro bono advice to over 150 different NGOs, charities and not for profit organisations

    All fee earners are expected to get involved in pro bono work with the expectation that each fee earner will contribute 50 hours of pro bono work per year, which can count towards the annual billable hours bonus target. It’s important to us that everyone gets a chance to participate in our pro bono efforts and – we hope – we have something for everyone. More details can be found on our Pro Bono Webpage.

For more information visit the Corporate Responsibility pages of our website.