Statement pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015
This statement is published on behalf of Ashurst LLP and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ashurst Business Services Limited, each having a turnover in excess of £36 million and references to "Ashurst", "we", "us", "our" or the "firm" are to both and to the related entities that carry on the Ashurst business across the world.
We are committed to achieving the highest standards of ethical behaviour in the conduct of our business and activities worldwide. We support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and endeavour to make sure that Ashurst is not complicit in human rights abuses. To this end, we will not tolerate slavery or human trafficking or abusive or unfair treatment in any part of our own business or in any of our supply chains. We are generally, and in particular through our policies and practices in relation to procurement, human resources and corporate responsibility, committed to taking steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking play no part in our own business or in our supply chains.
Policies and procedures that are in place and steps that we have taken are set out below.
We have a Global Corporate Responsibility Policy which, among other things, sets out our policy and approach on anti-slavery and human trafficking. We have procurement procedures in place in the UK with a specific requirement to carry out due diligence in relation to slavery and enforced labour with all potential new vendors to Ashurst and these procedures have been, or are in the course of being, adopted in all other jurisdictions in which Ashurst operates.
Procurement and supplier due diligence
As regards existing suppliers, we recently conducted, via our procurement team and office managers across the firm, an assessment of local supply contracts by size and risk profile, with a view to assessing the risks of modern slavery or trafficking being present in our supply chain in each country in which we operate. The main area of risk identified was in the sourcing of marketing and promotional materials which have historically been sourced from multiple vendors.
The firm is in the process of appointing a single vendor for these items in respect of which appropriate due diligence in accordance with our policies referred to above is being conducted.
As regards new suppliers, our standard bid invitation documentation asks due diligence questions of vendors to determine the steps they take to avoid or eliminate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chain. This forms one of the evaluation criteria behind our selection of new vendors.
With 27 offices in 14 countries, we have over 400 partners, 3,200 employees and 220 outsourced contractors. We are a professional services firm, and people are our most valuable asset at all levels of the business. As part of our policies and procedures in relation to our partners, employees, contractors and individuals employed by outsourced service providers that we contract with, we only use reputable recruitment firms and comply with all local laws, regulations and codes of best practice. We regularly review our global recruitment procedures, as well as our arrangements for employee welfare and care.
Ben Tidswell, Designated Member on behalf of Ashurst LLP
and Director on behalf of Ashurst Business Services Limited
27 October 2016