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Our corporate social responsibility

Running our business responsibly

Corporate responsibility (CR) and pro bono are an important part of HFW's culture and ethos, and we are committed to expanding the work we do across the firm.

Our philosophy towards charitable support and pro bono work tends toward programmes where we can make a real difference to people's lives and build a long-term relationship. We have a preference (but not exclusively) for projects that involve the development of local sustainable infrastructure, often with children, and where long-term health and education are involved.

It is this ethos and the growing effort we are making in this area that culminated in the firm being awarded the coveted Lloyd's List Global Awards Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2015.

Our CSR programme, which is overseen by our CSR Strategy Board, extends to:

Charitable programmes: We have a Community Investment Committee which meets on a regular basis to consider suggestions for projects the firm should support. Since the inception of the Committee, the level of support provided by the firm to charitable programmes has grown dramatically.

In the main, our charitable support is provided at a local level, with individual offices taking part in fundraising activities for local charities which are making a difference within their communities.

In addition to this, the firm regularly donates to international fundraising efforts in response to some of the world's worst disasters.

Community programmes: The firm runs a number of mentoring and literacy projects in conjunction with local schools, encouraging children and young adults to participate in education in a way they may not previously have thought about.

Pro bono and community legal work: We offer advice, on a pro bono basis, to a range of charities and other not-for-profit organisations, including:

  • Our Hong Kong office is a member of the Duty Lawyer Scheme (DLS), providing free legal advice on a roster basis, to HK residents and eligible defendants appearing in all magistrates courts, juvenile courts and coroners courts.
  • Our Australian and Hong Kong offices are also providing pro bono support and legal advice to local projects working with refugees and asylum seekers.
  • The core of the pro bono advice we provide from our London office remains the weekly legal advice surgeries we have been running for two hours a week at Morden, South London, since 2006. This continues to be a valuable source of legal advice in a deprived area.
  • The HFW Piracy Team has undertaken very significant pro bono work over the last year to release 22 of the "forgotten" seafarer hostages held in Somalia.

Environment: We are committed to recycling within our offices. In London we are consistently recycling over 60% of the waste collected, which is regarded as an excellent performance for a business of our type and size. In addition, all the paper we use in the printers across our offices is FSC approved and thus sourced responsibly. We have a number of green initiatives around the use and re-use of computer and printing equipment, including automatic night-time shut-down and recycling old equipment with local charities. In addition, the lighting systems in many of our offices are motion sensitive.

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