As required by the Modern Slavery Act 2015, this statement describes the steps which Alston Asquith Limited has taken during the recent financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of our supply chains, or in any part of our own business.
Alston Asquith Limited, is regarded as a boutique legal practice in many respects nevertheless it provides a full and extensive range of legal services to a diverse range of clients that it serves.
We strive for excellence in every aspect of our business and are committed to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and integrity. We are committed to conducting our business in a lawful manner and this includes engaging with our suppliers to ensure that they share our high standards.
Alston Asquith is the business name for the legal practice carried on by Alston Asquith Limited, its affiliated and associated businesses and entities (together referred to as “Alston Asquith”). As law firm authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we provide legal services across England and Wales, focusing on the core areas of technology and commercial activity, including: technology law; commercial contracts; corporate; intellectual property; employment law and dispute resolution.
Alston Asquith, is a private company limited by way of shares, incorporated under English law. Some of our practices may be supported by a number of wholly-owned service companies. The members, shareholders, partners and directors of all these entities are subject to the governance of Alston Asquith.
For further information about our business model, including how we are regulated, see the Legal and Regulatory Information on our website.
As a firm that strives for excellence we rightly hold ourselves to high standards in everything we do. We believe that our licence to operate, our business sustainability and our success in becoming the law firm of choice for many high-net-worth individuals and leading businesses is reliant on our ability to inspire trust and earn the confidence of all our stakeholders. To do this we must act responsibly, creating long-term value and supporting our stakeholders’ future achievements. This includes supporting the objectives of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and transparency in supply chains.
Supply chain relationships
Our key suppliers are the businesses which help us to run our premises, such as our catering, cleaning and security providers, or who supply us with the technology we need to deliver our legal services to our clients. We tend to foster long-term relationships with these first-tier suppliers and we avoid making demands of our suppliers that might lead to them violating human rights.
Alston Asquith has a universal policy on modern slavery and human trafficking which states:
“Alston Asquith opposes all forms of slavery and human trafficking, and we are committed to taking steps to ensure that these do not occur in our business or in our supply chains.”
Alston Asquith is built around strong values and ethical business principles and we expect all our undertakings to be conducted in an honest, fair and transparent manner. Our approach to modern slavery is reinforced by our employment and labour policies relating to diversity, dignity and inclusiveness. We are committed to take steps to ensure there is no modern slavery in our business or supply chains. In our firm we create a safe, healthy and inclusive workplace with a strong culture of collaboration and respect for others.
We expect our suppliers to have fair employment practices too, as articulated in our Supplier Code of Business Conduct. This encourages our suppliers to conduct their businesses ethically and we ask key suppliers to sign it to make their commitment to fair employment practices clear. A supplier’s compliance with our Supplier Code of Business Conduct is an important factor in us deciding whether to form, continue or re-new a relationship with them. Any breach of our Supplier Code of Business Conduct by a supplier may result in us terminating our arrangements with the supplier.
As well as our own offices, we have close working relationships with other leading law firms across the world. However, we have no exclusive alliance with other law firms and are therefore independent and able to work alongside the lawyers selected by our clients in any jurisdiction. Ordinarily our clients engage their lawyers direct but, occasionally, we may do so on their behalf. If this is done on a sub-contracted basis, we generally rely on our knowledge of the other law firm and their business and the fact that they are regulated and/or committed to high ethical standards and would not usually send them a copy of our Supplier Code of Business Conduct.
Alston Asquith aims to be a leader in corporate responsibility among our peers. We promote ethical values and adhere to all applicable laws. We are actively committed to the UN Global Compact’s 10 principles and we aim to report annually on our compliance in the core areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
We try to identify risks to workers in our supply chain, by regularly refreshing the due diligence we carry out on our key suppliers before we engage them and through the ongoing supplier management processes we have in place.
When selecting our suppliers, price is not our only driver. We are committed to buying quality products and services from ethical suppliers and part of measuring this involves assessing the approach a potential supplier takes to its people and the workers in its own supply chain.
We meet formally with each of our key suppliers at least annually and, among other things, address their approach to slavery and human trafficking at those review meetings.
In addition, managers responsible for the firm’s relationship with key suppliers visit them at their own premises from time-to-time. This gives us an opportunity to observe first hand their working conditions and to talk to a sample of their workers direct. In many cases, we have a contractual right to audit the performance and working practices of our suppliers.
We have a face-to-face training programme for our senior management team. This covers not only the offences in the Modern Slavery Act 2015, but how to go about evaluating suppliers and mitigating risks within supply chains. Our aim is to raise awareness of the issues and increase informed scrutiny.
Mr Alec Alston
Senior Partner, Alston Asquith Limited
for and on behalf of Alston Asquith
Date: 15 April 2018