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Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, London

Burges Salmon LLP values a diverse workforce and the contribution that each individual makes.

Our culture is open and collaborative and we strive to promote an inclusive environment in which to work so that we continue to recruit, retain and motivate the highest calibre of people across the business.

At Burges Salmon diversity and inclusion are integral to our People Strategy and there are a wide range of initiatives in place across all areas of the business. Our values underpin all that we do and the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Group meets on a regular basis to ensure our priorities are being met.

Our priorities

In order to make measurable change, the firm is taking a targeted approach to the diversity and inclusion agenda and action plan. There are four key areas that have been identified for the next year. These are:

  • Gender diversity - Reviewing our current practices and creating a clearly articulated and positive strategy in this area.
  • Ethnic diversity amongst our people - Supporting our social mobility agenda to improve our BME representation at the firm.
  • Supporting and developing our LGBT community - Building on results of our 2015 Workplace Equality Index by developing an action plan, improving membership activities and acting as a sponsor and support mechanism.
  • Wellbeing - Raising the profile of the wellbeing agenda and promoting a positive working environment.

Our memberships and partnerships

We hold a number of memberships to support our diversity objectives and are a founding member of BYLaw, a network group for LGB individuals working and studying in the legal profession in the south west. We are members of Stonewall and Business Disability Forum, and have formed a new partnership with My Family Care, which provides resources and support for parents and carers.

We play an active role in improving social inclusion and access to the legal profession, with the aim of raising the aspirations of young people in the local community. As part of our commitment to PRIME, to offer fair access to quality work experience, we run 'Bright Sparks', a bespoke work experience scheme that is open to school students from Year 10 onwards from a wide range of schools.  We recruited five legal apprentices who will start a Level 3 paralegal apprenticeship under the new trailblazer standard in September 2016.  Apprenticeships offer a new route to qualification as a solicitor and open opportunities to students who may not have considered a career in law.  We hope that some of our paralegal apprentices will move on to the Level 7 solicitor apprenticeship at the end of their two-year programme.

Our recent success stories

The firm is proud to hold Investors in People Gold Standard, which demonstrates our commitment to best practice. We strive to improve year-on-year in our Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter score. We hold an Achievement level for Bristol City Council's Workplace Wellbeing Charter and have also been awarded an Enhanced level of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership Employability Chartermark.

We are confident that our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and ensuring best practice is achieved, will result in positive changes for our people, the community and the legal profession as a whole.

Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

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