Who We Are

Modern Slavery

Working to combat all forms of modern slavery as a firm and with our clients, colleagues and other stakeholders

To celebrate 200 years of Ashurst in 2022 we worked on a way to honour our founder. William Henry Ashurst was a progressive advocate who was deeply committed to social justice, particularly women's equality and the abolition of slavery.

William's four daughters also poured their energy into the fight to abolish slavery and the fight to achieve equality for women, forming correspondence networks across countries and movements. What William's daughters achieved in their lifetimes is remarkable, which is why we named our four key initiatives after them.  Through this we not only connect our future efforts to the Ashurst family's historical work; we also pay a long overdue public tribute to four incredible women.

Recognising the continued growth of all forms of modern slavery and our global presence, we took the decision to expand our existing pro bono work in this area into a global focus for the firm. This provides a way for us to acknowledge our founder's legacy and commit to actioning that legacy on an issues that remains a massive threat today.

"Our first Modern Slavery Action Plan was launched in 2020 as part of our celebrations of Anti-Slavery Day, held each year on 18 October. This Plan set out specific objectives to learn and define our role in combatting all forms of modern slavery. We have come a long way since that time, with award winning work in both pro bono and social impact.  The next stage in our journey is to dig deeper into our areas of success from across our firm and continue to grow our knowledge and expertise in this area with our people, clients and communities."

Sarah Morton-Ramwell, Global Head of Pro Bono and Social Impact


  • ALM Law.com Legal innovation Award 2024 – CSR Innovation Award
  • People in Law Awards Best CSR Initiative 2023 (Modern Slavery Action Plan)
  • Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2022 Pro Bono Program of the Year (Modern Slavery Action Plan)
  • FT Innovative Lawyers Awards Europe 2022 - Most Innovative Law Firm in Europe
  • Legal Innovation Awards CSR Initiative of the Year 2021 (Modern Slavery Action Plan)
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Our history

William Henry Ashurst and Abolition efforts in the 1800s.

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Our Action Plan

Our role in understanding and combatting all forms of modern slavery.


Modern slavery today

Discussing the common themes of today's forms of slavery: coercion, fear and exploitation.

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Advising our clients

Advising commercial and Pro Bono clients on modern slavery.

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Our Modern Slavery Statement

Setting out our actions to assess and address modern slavery risks in our global operations and supply chains.