Corporate Social Responsibility

        Corporate Social Responsibility means a lot to us. Being committed to innovation and excellence goes far beyond our business and legal work and means standing up for the things we believe in.

        The way we do business is informed by our values and reflects the behaviours we want to be known for. We run our business with integrity and want our culture and values to be at the heart of everything we do, recognising that our people not only want a great place to work, but take pride in being part of a responsible business.

        We believe in the power of our people to make a difference by giving their time and talent where the need is greatest. Volunteering and fundraising have long been part of the culture at DWF and by continuing to focus our efforts on education, employability, health & wellbeing and homelessness, we can make a material difference to the communities in which we live and work.


        Social Mobility is a national priority and businesses have a key role to play in advancing it. Some of DWF's offices are situated within the most deprived areas of the UK, with particular social barriers such as poor health and low income levels. Youth unemployment is significantly higher than the UK average in cities where DWF is based.

        Our priorities are to:

        1. Increase the numbers of young people from low income and diverse backgrounds who have improved their confidence. This strong foundation of self-confidence allows young people to develop key employability skills and become more work ready;
        2. Build a strong and positive link between schools and the world of work. This demystifies the workplace, enabling them raise their aspirations;
        3. Develop a variety of opportunities for young people to increase their confidence, gain key employability skills and become more work ready.

        Our 5 STAR Futures programme began in 2012 and has grown and evolved year on year. It is designed to enable young people to make the most of their potential – essentially be the best version of themselves. We work with pupils from areas of high unemployment to equip them with the skills and confidence to aim higher and achieve more.

        5 Star Futures is currently operating in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and London.

        Our 5 Star Early Years programme for primary schools launched in 2017, recognising that many youngsters with potential, but who live in a socially deprived area, start falling behind their peers from more affluent areas from the age of 7.  

        Why continue to prioritise social mobility as part of our community investment?

        • Primary schools (5 Star Early Years) to ignite aspirations and introduce the concept of work
        • Secondary schools (5 Star Futures) preparing young people for employment
        • Work experience opportunities to enable young people to practice workplace behaviours
        • Apprenticeships (legal and non-legal) enabling them to successfully transition into the world of work.


        DWF has supported this legal sector alliance to overcome the issue of restricted social mobility and access to the legal profession through meaningful work experience, since 2012. 

        In 2017, Ty Jones, our Director of CSR & Engagement was appointed to the Prime Board and Clare Beavan, our Charitable Foundation & Community Engagement Manager, joined its Working Group.

        As a member of Prime, we commit to provide a number of work experience places that equate to not less than 50% of the number of training contract places we offer each year.


        Since, March 2017, we have supported Business in the Community's #jargonfreejobs campaign. As a member of BITC's Employment & Skills Leadership Group and spokesperson for the campaign in the North West, we work with our apprentice talent to spot check our entry level job descriptions on a monthly basis to help ensure we are avoiding jargon and clearly outlining the responsibilities of a job to ensure that a young person has realistic expectations about their role.

        Living wage

        We became an accredited Living Wage Employer in 2014.

        Being a Living Wage employer enabled us to effect positive change by staying relevant and connected to the social and ethical issues that are prevalent in society today and specifically to enhance the lives of people in the communities where we are based.

        Green and sustainable

        In supporting the principles of sustainable development, we have in place an environmental management system (EMS) to identify and control the impacts of our business and enhance current working practices.

        Our focus is to reduce our energy, re-use and recycle, as well as controlling and minimising our travel by using environmentally efficient technologies, whilst undertaking our business activities. Our EMS is accredited in the UK to ISO14001: 2015 and our carbon footprint is independently verified.

        CO2 emissions for our UK offices:

        2015 – 2.6 tonnes per person per year (TPPPY)
        2016 – 2.3 TPPPY
        2017 – 2.25 TPPPY

        Our environmental targets:

        • To maintain a target of under 3 tonnes per person per year CO2.
        • Waste Management: Re-use and Recycle:
        • Maintain a target of recycling at 85% per site (94% in 2017);
        • Recycle all suitable office furniture and equipment (i.e. chairs, desks, photocopiers);
        • Continually seeking to reduce energy use;
        • Encouraging staff to place all waste paper in the confidential waste paper bins;
        • Increasing the range of disposable catering containers made from recycled materials;
        • Expanding the range of recycled stationery products;
        • Encourage the reduction of plastic bottles/single use plastics;

        UN Global Compact

        The way we do business is based on our values and reflects the behaviours that we want to be known for. In our second annual Communication on Progress, we describe our actions to integrate the UN Global Compact and its principles into our business strategy, culture and daily operations. By doing so, DWF reaffirms its support of the ten principles of the Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption.

        Continuing to align our business operations with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrates a strong, well informed management attitude that is alert and responsive to the challenges and opportunities of doing business in a global context.

        CSR Leadership

        Managing Partner & CEO, Andrew Leaitherland, chairs our CSR Leadership Group which oversees our current strategy which is also supported by CSR location groups and a growing network of CSR champions. At the end of 2017, we launched a new Impact Tool that creates a CSR profile for all our people, enables us to show our showed our community investment activity in real time and tracks our performance against goals set.

        We are one of only 22 businesses in the UK to currently hold BITC’s CommunityMark, the UK’s only national standard that publicly recognises excellence in community investment. 

        Diversity & Inclusion

        Mutual respect and dignity at work underpin the way we do business and we don't tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying. Inclusion is an integral part of our values and culture. It's visible from what we display, through the way we think and behave. In 2017, we launched a new Global D&I strategy to reflect and support our growing international presence.

        We are proud to be:

        • 1st legal business in the UK to be re-accredited as Clear Assured, a Standard awarded for inclusive recruitment of disabled talent
        • 1st legal business in the UK to achieve Disability Confident Leadership Status
        • A long standing Stonewall Diversity Champion
        • Awarded Top 30 Employer for Working Families 
        • Gold Standard in Diversity Best Practice, ENEI Awards 
        • Winner - Advancing Social Mobility in the Workplace Award, ENEI Awards
        • Winner - Equality & Inclusion Senior Champion Award, ENEI Awards Finalist - Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award category at the Insurance Times Awards

        Click here to find out more >


        Since its launch on 1st December 2015, the DWF Foundation has targeted its funds to support our established community themes:

        • Education
        • Employability
        • Health & wellbeing
        • Homelessness

        Find out more and apply for a DWF Foundation grant >

        For more information view our latest Annual Review

        Download our CSR Policy

        Download our second Communicating on Progress 

        Download our first Communicating on Progress 

        Related people

        Tyrone Jones

        • Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Engagement

        Clare Beavan

        • Foundation Manager

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