12 October 2021

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon has been shortlisted in four categories at this year’s Bristol Law Society Awards, which take place on Thursday 14 October 2021.

1. Community Engagement Law Firm of the Year

The firm’s shortlisting in this category recognises its commitment to the ‘Working with Schools’ programme throughout the pandemic.

The programme combines in-house activities along with support to community-based organisations to enable a dynamic portfolio of; work experience, career guidance, mock interviews, curriculum enhancement, CV reviews, mentoring, confidence building, skills development, workplace engagements, project work and insight sessions.

Prior to the pandemic, the programme had already been recognised as best practice, with endorsement from Business in the Community, which named Burges Salmon a ‘Responsible Business Champion 2020’, providing a strong foundation from which to work.

The firm adapted the programme to support less-advantaged students by providing financial funding, deploying volunteers, hosting on-line sessions, creating new virtual content, establishing new collaborations and donating books and IT equipment.

Burges Salmon’s Working with Schools Programme during the first year of the pandemic: collaborated with 39 community organisations; contacted 127 schools with opportunities; reached 528 students beneficiaries; and, deployed 207 Volunteers.

2. Sustainable Business of the Year

This shortlisting builds on the firm’s already strong environmental and responsible business commitments and working towards Net Zero.

As founding members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance and with an environmental management system accredited to ISO 14001, Burges Salmon is already familiar with determining its carbon footprint, driving continuous improvement and applying best practice.

To achieve Net Zero, the firm is taking steps to be as energy efficient as possible, targeting energy reductions, producing less waste, recycling more and engaging stakeholders particularly in the supply chain. The firm has a strong foundations with BREEAM excellent rated offices and already completed the switch to 100% renewably-sourced electricity at all offices.

The firm has also invested in working with experts ‘Carbon Intelligence’ and ‘Trees for Life’ and has nurtured a number of external collaborations including with the Legal Sustainability Alliance, the Chancery Lane Project and joining the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance.

3. Junior Lawyer of the Year (Employment Apprentice: India Jenkins)

This shortlisting has been awarded to India Jenkins, who having started at the firm at 18 years old straight after completing her A-levels, is now coming to the end of her fifth year of Burges Salmon’s Apprenticeship Scheme.

As part of her role in Burges Salmon’s employment team, India has represented a key client of the firm – a large, national retailer – taking responsibility for a number of employment tribunal claims.

She has successfully defended various claims and confidently managed the entire tribunal process from start to finish, acting as an extension of the client’s in-house team and working at a level well beyond her years of experience. Clients have said that she “puts them at ease dealing with legal matters” and has an “effortless way” of building rapport with them.

As well as working closely with existing clients, India has also been chosen to present at two pitches - one for an existing key client, where her contribution assisted in the firm’s success in retaining a key stream of work.

On top of her demanding workload and simultaneously studying for her legal qualifications, India has been instrumental in promoting the firm’s Apprenticeship Scheme, including speaking at Burges Salmon’s annual AGM in front of the whole firm, and is a real testament to the success of the scheme.

4. Legal Innovators Award

Burges Salmon has been shortlisted in this category for its Distressed Contracts Toolkit.

Combining technology with the firm’s legal expertise, Burges Salmon’s Online Distressed Contracts Toolkit was developed by a multi-disciplinary team within the first two weeks of lockdown to help support the firm’s clients identify, navigate and work through complex legal issues due to the pandemic putting commercial contracts under pressure.

A web-based application created using practical commercial sense, legal expertise and technological know-how, the Toolkit guides the user through a series of decision-trees to produce a concise report outlining the possible legal consequences of suspending or exiting a contract.

Burges Salmon’s Innovation team has made great progress in placing innovation front and centre of the firm’s offering. This is done through their knowledge of clients’ requirements, their ability to identify and exploit technology and innovative legal service delivery solutions and their collaborative work alongside our legal teams.

Roger Bull, Burges Salmon’s Managing Partner, says: “We are delighted to have received four nominations at the 2021 Bristol Law Society Awards. To receive such recognition in these important categories is fantastic news. Very well done to all of those who have been shortlisted.”

The Bristol Law Society Awards 2021 take place on Thursday 14 October 2021 at Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre.

Key contact

Roger Bull

Roger Bull Managing Partner

  • Managing Partner 
  • Employment Disputes
  • Strategic HR Projects

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