Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Act 2015 Annual Statement for 2016

This statement is made on behalf of Ashfords LLP (the "Firm") pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the "Act") and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending April 2016.

The Firm is a limited liability partnership company providing legal services to commercial, private individuals and public sector clients.  We are registered in England and Wales (registered number OC342432).  We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (ID number 50761).  The firm has over 500 people and a turnover exceeding £36m for the financial year ending 30 April 2016. We have six offices across England with our head office located in Exeter.

We are committed to working to the highest professional standards and comply with all laws and regulations relevant to our business. We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business by implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls. To ensure that all parts of our business and supply chain are slavery free, we have put in place a designated Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy (Anti-Slavery Policy). Click here to see our Anti-Slavery Policy

Our Professional & Financial Risks team works in conjunction with our partners and colleagues to help ensure that our Anti-Slavery Policy is complied with and to manage any concerns or breaches. The Firm also has a clear Whistleblowing Policy. If any member of staff has any genuine concerns about any wrongdoing or breaches of law, those concerns can be raised in confidence.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy aims to improve the impact of our business on society and the economies of the regions within which our offices are based.

Our supply chains

The Firm will not support or deal with any business knowingly involved in slavery or human trafficking. Since the Transparency in Supply Chains clause (clause 6) came into force in October 2015, our procurement process has started to include the vetting of every new supplier based on the nature and value of the product or service.

All our suppliers are expected to comply with all laws and regulations and as part of the vetting process of new suppliers, we have commenced the process of asking them to complete a supply chain questionnaire before we will consider them under our procurement process. Should their responses fail to meet our requirements, we will not engage with them.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, our current suppliers will also be required to complete the supply chain questionnaire as part of our continuous improvement. Should their responses fail to meet our requirements, we will not engage with them going forward.

Training

By the end of our next financial year (April 2017), we will have implemented and rolled out training to all colleagues together with additional compulsory training for those involved in recruiting and sourcing/managing our supply chains. The training will ensure that our colleagues are  able to assist us with implementing our Anti-Slavery Policy effectively.