At Brodies we are not in the business of merely being seen to 'do our bit' in terms of corporate social responsibility. We are committed to making a positive contribution to the communities in which we live and work because we firmly believe that it's the right thing to do.
Through the many initiatives in which we are involved – whether widening access to the legal profession, raising money for causes close to our hearts, nurturing the sporting stars of the future or sharing our professional experience with voluntary organisations – we try to make a tangible, long-term difference.
We hope that our efforts through our Positive Impact corporate social responsibility programme will not only assist the personal development of the individuals involved but, ultimately, make a positive contribution to Scottish society and the Scottish economy.
Brodies is a founding member of PRIME, a pioneering initiative by the UK's leading law firms which aims to encourage greater diversity in the legal profession by offering quality work experience and continuing support to young people from less privileged backgrounds.
We are committed to offering school pupils aged 13-17 the opportunity to take part in a structured work experience programme that is co-ordinated and delivered by Brodies staff from across the firm.
In 2015, we welcomed students from our partner schools Wester Hailes Education Centre and Drumchapel High School, as well as a further 11 schools across the central belt. We also widened the initiative to include six schools in Aberdeen. A total of 30 students took part in the programme last year, bringing our overall attendance to 60 since the launch of the programme in 2013.
It is very important to us that our support for participants continues beyond the end of their work experience, so we offer additional coaching and mentoring as they continue on to higher education or the start of their professional working lives.
In April 2016, Falkirk High School student Calum Fairbairn was accepted into Edinburgh University to study law and politics after taking part in Brodies PRIME programme. His experience demonstrates the value of this initiative, and the ways it benefits both the young people involved and the legal profession as a whole.
Brodies continues to support Pilotlight, a charity that brings together businesses and charities to tackle disadvantage in Scottish communities.
By sharing their experience, helping to coach management teams and providing pro bono legal advice our lawyers are helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organisations across Scotland.
Brodies lawyers have been working as part of a team of five business professionals to provide strategic advice and support to Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT), including the development of a new business plan and governance processes.
FEAT has almost 20 years’ experience of helping people with mental health problems to find and sustain work. A registered charity, FEAT is funded by a variety of sources, including Fife Council, NHS Fife, Scottish Ministers' People & Communities Fund and the European Social Fund.
"Brodies' support is hugely important and appreciated by everyone at Pilotlight. Brodies Pilotlighters are in teams which are making a huge difference in helping tackle local disadvantage."
Graeme Powrie, Membership Manager, Pilotlight
Scottish Schools Swimming Association
Brodies has supported the Scottish Schools Swimming Association (SSSA) since 2006, providing the vital funding necessary for this voluntary organisation to hold its Team Championships and Scottish Schools Swimming Championships.
We are proud to help the Association hone the skills of Scotland's promising young swimmers, promote team work and encourage young people to engage in healthy competition – and have fun!
In January this year, 700 swimmers from 200 schools across Scotland took part in the Brodies Scottish Schools Swimming Championships at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, smashing many previous years' Championship records.
In September 2015 Brodies became fully compliant with the requirements of the ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme) which brings into force Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. The directive mandates all large businesses in the UK undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years.
As a result of our assessment there are a number of points we will take forward from the survey as part of our Sustain initiative internally, which should help us reduce our energy consumption and save costs.
Pro-Bono – John Smith Centre for Public Service
Brodies provided pro-bono legal advice to the trustees of the John Smith Centre for Public Service on the establishment of the charity, which was awarded charitable status by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in 2015.
Plans were unveiled to create the new centre in partnership with the University of Glasgow on the 20th anniversary of the death of Labour Party Leader, John Smith, with the aim of promoting and changing public perception of public service.
The centre sits within the university and works together with community groups, charities, academic institutions, businesses and governments to attract more young people to contribute to public life and restore the reputation of the role of public servants.
Brodies continues to assist the centre through its first year of operation in advising on the collaboration between the centre and the University of Glasgow, and general charity governance.
In 2014, Brodies sponsored Brodie the golden eagle in support of the Scottish wildlife and conservation charity the Highland Foundation for Wildlife, which is dedicated to protecting threatened and at-risk species in Scotland.
The female eagle was one of a number of native birds that have been tagged by the foundation in recent years, allowing conservationists to learn more about the life and behaviour of these iconic species and safeguard the future of these magnificent birds of prey which have been part of the fabric of the Highlands for thousands of years.