Corporate Social Responsibility

At Broadway House Chambers we are proud to be known as a reliable and friendly set that places its clients at the heart of all decisions made. As a chambers, we believe that we have a responsibility to exist as a sustainable and ethical organisation. We have therefore focused this policy around four main areas consisting of the Workplace, the Community, our Clients and the Environment.



Workplace

At Broadway House Chambers we value the importance of wellbeing in all staff, tenants and pupils. Although life at the Bar is incredibly rewarding, the pressures of the role can often become overwhelming. Many barristers feel the pressure to keep a very busy practice in order to maintain client and clerk satisfaction which can lead to stress. According to research carried out by the Bar Council, in the profession 1 in 3 find it difficult to control/stop worrying and 2 in 3 feel that showing signs of stress equals weakness. If any concerns or difficulties should arise, staff, pupils and tenants are aware that they can approach management and our Wellbeing Officer at all times. A number of barristers and members of our administration team address issues surrounding wellbeing by attending specialist training sessions led by Bar Council representatives and charities such as LawCare. Through an increase in understanding, we are then able to put procedures into place, so that we are able to safeguard all staff, pupils and tenants.

Our members of staff are regularly encouraged to attend additional training courses that can enhance their skillset. Our Promotion and Marketing Manager, Leah Taylor, is currently funded by ourselves and studies with the Chartered Institute of Marketing where she is extending her knowledge in Integrated Communications and Digital Marketing.

We annually recruit two pupils who undertake pupillage with a clear expectation of training, mentoring and coaching provided mainly by dedicated supervisors. The ethos of Chambers is that all tenants contribute formally and informally to this training process. There is a clear and genuine expectation that subject to successful completion of pupillage, pupils will be offered future career opportunities by way of tenancy at our Chambers.  We endeavour to ensure that pupillages are a constructive learning process which enables the pupils to develop their skills within a supportive environment. In addition to this, we accept mini-pupils who are placed with members of Chambers and are able to observe court proceedings and assist in preparation and research.

Broadway House Chambers are committed to promoting equality and diversity in and out of the workplace. We do this by ensuring that our policy documents are updated and that all staff, pupils and tenants are aware of any changes. Broadway House Chambers values and respects each individual as an equal regardless of their gender, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age and ability.

We conduct annual appraisals where the Chambers Director reviews the achievements of each member of staff and their contributions to the set. Staff members are then given targets so that they are able to further work on their personal development.

On a monthly basis, all employees are provided with a complimentary breakfast, an incentive and token of gratitude for everything that they contribute towards Chambers.

We regularly arrange team building activities for all members of staff so that we can collectively collaborate and work together effectively as a team. All employees are always fully engaged and thoroughly enjoy all activities that are arranged. We see the importance of developing employee relationships and through team building we learn to respect each other, communicate better and problem solve together.



Community

Broadway House Chambers’ Charity of the Year 2019 is the Leeds Children’s Charity. The Leeds Children’s Charity creates happy childhood memories for the neediest of families, with fun-filled, week long breaks. They support young people from backgrounds of challenge and disadvantage through delivering breaks and respite from the difficulties that they face at home. We have a strong relationship with the Leeds Children’s Charity and are currently in the process of planning a variety of fundraising events in aid of them. The charity is very closely related to our Family and Criminal Team in particular due to their nature of work. We believe that we owe the Leeds Children’s Charity our support due to the outstanding work that they conduct.

In recent years we have supported a local charitable organisation the ‘Manuel Bravo Project’. Based in Leeds, the Manuel Bravo Project aims to help asylum seekers who are unable to find adequate legal representation. We support this project by organising an annual charity quiz, inviting specialist employment solicitors with the aim to raise Manuel Bravo’s profile within the legal profession. As well as fundraisers, we also provide legal advice on a Pro Bono basis. Susan Sanders in particular, regularly presents appeals and provides advice for those who are in need of legal representation.

For a number of years we have been working to support and develop those who are starting out in the legal profession. We have a strong working relationship with BPP and often provide assistance in Plea in Mitigation competitions.

Ian Miller is the Deputy Head of the School of Law at the University of Bradford. He runs the ‘Justice Bradford’ scheme, whereby third year law students provide advice to members of the public, on a pro bono basis under Ian’s supervision. The scheme operates through the Bradford and Airedale Citizens Advice Bureau in Bradford City Centre. Broadway House Chambers offers a cash prize and a mini pupillage to the student that achieves first place for the most successful written advice. As well as this, Broadway House Chambers values education and therefore assists the University of Bradford law students through offering a mentoring programme. The students are partnered up with a barrister and are given advice and guidance throughout their studies. Additionally, Semaab Shaikh sits on the University of Bradford Law Advisory Board, advising the school of Curriculum and Employment skills.



Clients

The relationships that we have with our clients are extremely important to us. We strive towards continuing our reputation as a friendly and reliable set so that we are able to maintain high client satisfaction. We aim to uphold this reputation through offering free of charge training sessions with refreshments that attract Continuing Professional Development points. The aim of these sessions are to update our clients with recent developments in the legal sector.

We are known for our ‘friendly, reliable and professional clerks’ (Chambers & Partners 2019). Our clerks work hard to ensure that they always go above and beyond for our clients. Our Fees Clerks maintain good client relationships through accurate and timely billing of cases. They also assist if further clarification is needed on more complex bills. Our direct access clients are kept continuously updated so that they are never in the dark and feel alone or lost in the process. Our clerks work hard to deliver a promise and therefore build trust with our clients. They are as accommodating as possible and always offer an efficient service.

We have a strong working relationship with all of our suppliers, ensuring that they have everything from us, including a full payment on time.



Environment

As a chambers, we work to ensure that our carbon footprint is reduced day by day. It can be difficult to minimise our paper usage as we handle hard copy briefs and letters. However, we decrease our paper wastage by using password protected printers. As well as protecting confidential information, this password stops accidental printing and requires extra effort to make any document unnecessarily into a hard copy. Additionally, we have a ‘Think Before you Print’ message that anchors an image of a tree on our email signatures. This message motivates individuals to consider whether their email is worth wasting paper. When printing documents, we encourage all staff, tenants and pupils to use a double sided format as well as more than one page per sheet of paper. Likewise, all of our materials are shredded and recycled with the aim to minimise our effect on the environment.

We have motion sensor lighting in our Leeds office so the lights turn off when the rooms are vacant. This therefore reduces our energy consumption as a chambers.

For enquiries regarding this policy please contact Leah Taylor ltaylor@broadwayhouse.co.uk