29 April 2024

Building a genuinely inclusive workplace and creating opportunities to make the legal sector more accessible is one of Burges Salmon’s core ESG priorities. The firm is proud to have been recognised at the Legal 500 ESG Awards, winning both the Ethnicity: Best Initiative to Attract and Retain Talent and the Disability/Neurodiversity: Best Initiative to Attract and Retain Talent awards.

Praised for its commitment to broaden access to the legal profession and build a pipeline of diverse talent for its early careers offering, Burges Salmon’s programmes have been based on collaborations with many leading universities and organisations to create work experience and mentoring programmes. As part of this, the firm was involved in establishing the Bristol Future Talent Partnership in the South West region, offering valuable work experience to students aged 14-18 from Black or Minority Ethnic backgrounds. Burges Salmon has also set up mentoring schemes with the University of Bristol Law School, the University of Bristol, the University of the West of England and IntoUniversity’s Ediburgh and Glasgow campuses.

The firm’s reverse mentoring programme was also featured in the 2024 SDG Showcase report published by the United Nations Global Compact Network. The programme has seen senior leaders and managers from across the firm become the mentees and partnered-up with colleagues with lived experience of different diversity characteristics. The initiative has helped increase awareness and understanding of DEI topics in management and leadership positions and prompted senior leaders take practical actions.

Burges Salmon’s disability inclusion initiatives, which saw the proportion of people at the firm disclosing a disability increase significantly in the past four years, were also recognised at the awards. Based on listening and auditing programmes, the firm has sought to better understand the experiences of disabled colleagues and reengineered the support it provides to meet these diverse needs. A pioneering recruitment programme was also rolled out to make the legal sector more accessible to people with disabilities, long-term health conditions and neurodivergent people. Beyond delivering big practical improvements, Burges Salmon has opened up conversations around disability and empowered people across the firm to share their personal stories of how a health condition or disability has interacted with their careers and lives.

The firm’s efforts were recognised at the 2023 Bristol Law Society Awards and cited as ‘exemplary’ in the Lamp House Strategy report, where Burges Salmon is named the Overall Leader 2023, the only firm worldwide to rank in the top 5% across the three leaderboards – people, planet and governance.

Roxanne Ratcliff, head of corporate responsibility at Burges Salmon says: “We’re proud to have been recognised at the inaugural Legal 500 ESG Awards, celebrating the open and inclusive culture we have where difference is welcomed and valued. Our dedication to ESG and inclusive employment extends beyond internal initiatives and we’ve adopted a collaborative approach, engaging with organisations across our communities to attract and nurture diverse talent. These awards are a testament to the huge progress made and we remain steadfast in our mission to drive positive impact for our people, clients, and communities.”

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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