SJ Berwin puts corporate social responsibility high on its agenda

SJ Berwin puts corporate social responsibility high on its agenda” />SJ Berwin is overhauling its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme with a view to publishing a formal report alongside its limited-liability partnership (LLP) accounts.

Former senior partner David Harrel is overseeing the initiative, which aims to widen the firm’s CSR policy to include overarching “ethical entrepreneurial” initiatives – for example, providing pro bono advice to early start-up organisations aimed at environmental concerns.

“Increasingly clients ask these sorts of questions [about CSR] when we’re pitching for business,” Harrel said. “It’s not a matter of just doing good, but actually being effective and using the strengths of the firm.”

The firm’s next LLP accounts are due in February, but Harrel said the first full CSR report was likely to be published later in the year.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer became the first international firm to publish a formal CSR report in January 2006.

Harrel is currently pulling together a team across SJ Berwin’s European offices to draft the new CSR policy and examine potential initiatives.

The firm’s London office has been carbon-neutral for five years. Harrel said the firm would expand the carbon-neutral policy to its Continental Europe network.