Ashurst launches Modern Slavery Action Plan

Insight Hero Image

    In 1840 the firm's founder, William Henry Ashurst, attended the first World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. William was a progressive advocate who was deeply committed to women's equality and the abolition of slavery. As the firm approaches its bicentenary (1822-2022) the Action Plan considers the role Ashurst can play in combatting all forms of modern slavery and the steps to achieve this, as a firm and with clients, colleagues and other stakeholders. 

    The Action Plan includes four key initiatives, named after William's four daughters. Ashurst's First Women publication (November 2019) outlined how Matilda, Caroline, Elizabeth and Emilie were encouraged to join their father in his social justice efforts with all four women campaigning on women's equality, the abolition of slavery and other causes. These efforts were not recognised publicly during their lifetime because they were women. 

    We are proud to name key initiatives after Matilda, Caroline, Elizabeth and Emilie to pay tribute to their historical contributions and to share their story with future generations: 

    • Funding long-term change through the Matilda Ashurst Anti-Slavery Fellow 
    • Funding our future joiners to engage in anti-slavery efforts through the Caroline Ashurst Anti-Slavery Awards
    • Empowering future women leaders in the anti-slavery moment with the Emilie Ashurst Development Grant
    • Building the Elizabeth Ashurst Anti-Slavery Network to connect with colleagues, clients and other stakeholders.

    The launch follows Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October, a time when we are all encouraged to consider how we can play a role in combatting slavery.

    Ashurst Partner, and Global Head of Pro Bono and Social Impact, Sarah Morton-Ramwell, commented:

    "After joining Ashurst to lead its pro bono and Social Impact work, I was proud to learn that this work continued the social justice legacy of the first Ashurst family. As we approach the 200 year anniversary of William founding Ashurst, our Modern Slavery Action Plan provides an opportunity to renew the firm's focus on the same injustices that drew our founder's attention and that remain as much a threat today.

    With more than 40 million people caught in forms of modern slavery today, we recognise that we all have a role to play in helping to eradicate slavery. The Action Plan provides a way for us to draw on our global reach and wider networks to achieve this, whilst also paying tribute to the efforts of Matilda, Caroline, Emilie and Elizabeth."

    For further information in relation to the launch of Ashurst's Modern Slavery Action Plan, please click here.