11 October 2023

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon is proud to be nominated for two awards at the 2023 Bristol Law Society Awards, recognising the firm’s ESG initiatives to support biodiversity and provide an accessible, inclusive and supportive workplace for all its people.

Nominated in the Community Engagement Law Firm of the Year category is Burges Salmon’s conservation and biodiversity efforts after the firm turned its hand to beekeeping. Since 2022, the firm has its own beehive at Lawrence Weston Community Farm, a charity the firm has been supporting for over five years. Made of British Western Red Cedar, the construction of the beehive was a team effort involving the firm’s sustainability group, a client and conservation students from UWE. Earlier this year, the firm successfully completed its first honey harvest, filling more than 90 jars, which were donated to charity and sold in the firm’s café, with proceeds supporting Lawrence Weston Community Farm. The firm has also two beehives on the rooftop of its Edinburgh office.

Angela Parfitt, corporate responsibility specialist at Burges Salmon, comments: “The conservation of biodiversity, especially bees, is crucial and we recognise the vital role honeybees play in the ecosystem, pollinating flowering plants, trees and crops. We’re very proud of our beehive and of the delicious honey we’ve been able to produce. We really want to thank Lawrence Weston Community Farm and their resident beekeepers for all their help and guidance in how to best look after our bees. We’re delighted to see our efforts – and importantly those of our bees – nominated at the Bristol Law Society Awards.”

Burges Salmon is also nominated in the Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Champion of the Year category, recognising the firm’s commitment in championing diversity in the workplace and building a genuinely accessible workplace to support social mobility. A particular focus of the firm this year has been to support disability inclusion with listening and auditing programmes rolled out across the firm to better understand the experiences of disabled colleagues and use this knowledge to reengineer the support the firm provides to meet these diverse needs. A pioneering recruitment programme aimed at making the legal sector more accessible to people with disabilities, neurodiverse conditions or long-term health conditions was also launched alongside an ongoing communications programme giving the firm’s people a voice, through case studies, videos and blogs, to share their experiences of how a health condition or disability has interacted with their careers and lives.

Roxanne Ratcliff, head of corporate responsibility at Burges Salmon says: “We’re incredibly proud of the inclusive and accessible workplace we’ve created here at Burges Salmon, underpinned by a culture of openness and fairness where difference is visibly welcomed and valued. Our disability people-led network, BEnabled, together with our People and Responsible Business teams, have worked incredibly hard to ensure that with diversity comes real inclusion and this is reflected in our policies, physical spaces as well as in how we interact with one another. Not only are we delivering big practical improvements, we’re also raising awareness and breaking down barriers to empower our people to speak of their experiences. We’ve actually seen the proportion of our people disclosing a disability more than double from 4% in 2018 to 9% in 2022, a reflection of the open culture we’ve created and maintained. We’re thrilled to see our work, which is delivering on our ESG priorities, recognised by the Bristol Law Society.”

Winners will be announced at an award ceremony on Thursday 2 November.

Key contact

Headshot of Roxanne Ratcliff

Roxanne Ratcliff Head of Corporate Responsibility

  • Corporate responsibility and sustainability
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • Diversity and inclusion

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