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Australian law firm Holding Redlich has launched the first comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) service to be offered by a law firm in Australia.
The service, which was launched in September, aims to help companies adopt practices that meet the demands of local regulators and industry bodies, while also complying with international legal principles such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The service will initially have six lawyers based in both Melbourne and Sydney. Corporate partner Michael Linehan will lead the team in conjunction with financial services and personal injury partner Michael McGarvie from the Melbourne office.
Linehan said that although CSR was in its infancy in Australia compared with Europe, companies were beginning to place more importance on the impact of their corporate actions on the community, especially as the courts have determined that company directors should be responsible for risk management policies.
He explained that the firm’s CSR service involved a due diligence-style review of an organisation’s operations to determine its requirements.
A CSR strategy is then tailored to its needs, ranging from improving management and communication systems to full financial reportage of its social, economic and environmental standards.