Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Act 2015 Annual Statement for 2021
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 2021.
The Firm is a limited liability partnership providing legal services to commercial and public sector clients as well as private individuals. 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 circa 500 people and a turnover exceeding the statutory required threshold of £36m for the financial year ending 30 April 2021. We have five offices across England with our head office located in Exeter. In order to provide legal services, we work with a range of suppliers to support the business.
We are committed to working to the highest professional standards and to complying with all laws and regulations relevant to our business. We are committed to preventing acts of modern slavery and human trafficking from occurring within the business and supply chain. 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 Risk & Compliance and HR teams work in conjunction with our members and employees 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 which enables any member of staff who has any concerns about any wrongdoing or breaches of law, to be able to raise them in confidence through a number of channels.
Our supply chains
All our suppliers are expected to comply with all laws, and as part of the vetting process of new suppliers, we require them to complete a supply chain due diligence exercise before we will consider them under our procurement process. Should their responses fail to meet our reasonable requirements, we will not engage with them.
In order to determine the level of risk of modern slavery posed to our organisation we have identified and assessed the features of our business which are particularly vulnerable to these types of practice:
- Existing suppliers
- New suppliers
- Using recruitment agents
- Recruitment generally
- Breaches of money laundering and counter terrorist financing legislation
For those suppliers initially deemed to be high risk, we undertake a further risk assessment in order to mitigate the risk.
100% of our suppliers are deemed low risk and 0% are high risk.
We carry out identification checks on our clients to mitigate the risk of money laundering that is inherently linked to modern slavery.
Despite none of our suppliers being deemed as high risk we will continue to ensure that those people who are involved in procurement and recruitment roles receive training on a risk based basis, or as the need is identified. All employees are encouraged to identify and report any potential breaches of the organisation’s anti-slavery and human trafficking policy.
During the last financial year, we have:
- Reviewed the firm’s policy and procedure
We have taken internal procedural steps to further address the risks of money laundering which continues to be linked to human trafficking. We have done this by engaging with our electronic identification checks supplier and agreed new terms which provide a higher level of checking to further mitigate the risk.
This statement was approved by:
Louise Workman - CEO
Carl Steele - Compliance Officer for Legal Practice
Dated: 5 October 2021