Hardwicke has been running an extensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme for many years. CSR is at the heart of our values as an organisation and features as part of our business strategic objectives. We often take key decisions as an organisation based on our values. CSR is led from the top at Hardwicke, but also crucially owned by everyone else. We are committed to the role we play in our community and wider society, and in operating as an environmentally sustainable organisation. We take part in a range of initiatives that benefit others, particularly in providing opportunities for young people and those under-represented in gaining access to the legal profession.
We especially enjoy collaborating with our clients and other groups to provide these opportunities and this can range from delivering mock trials, work experience placements, law career seminars, or in giving up our time, experience and space to do a wide range of great things together.
One of the initiatives we are particularly proud of is a scheme we have been running for over 5 years to advertise openly and recruit industry year students to spend a year at Hardwicke as a full-time employee.
In 2017 Hardwicke was recognised by the Financial Times as an ‘Architect of Meritocracy’ for its Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at the Bar. As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, Hardwicke was delighted to collaborate with other chambers to set up FreeBar, a forum focused on LGBT+ people and their allies working at and for the Bar.
Hardwicke is proud to have been a London Living Wage employer for many years.
The tabs below give more detail of some of the aspects of our CSR programme. For further information about any of our initiatives or to collaborate with us, please contact Amanda Illing.
- Education & work experience
A key priority of Hardwicke’s CSR objectives is to is to provide a range of opportunities to enable talented people to have access to the legal profession, particularly those people from under-represented groups.
We are keenly aware of the importance of education and access opportunities, and our responsibility within the legal profession (and particularly at the Bar) to encourage and support schemes that help achieve these goals.
We enjoy collaborating with a wide spectrum of clients, charities and other organisations to deliver a range of different programmes, including inspirational careers talks, mock trials, and work experience placements. We know that inviting people in to Hardwicke to spend time with barristers, pupils and staff can make a real impact on people’s career choices, and to assist them in building up an essential network of contacts for the future.
The process to apply for work experience can be viewed here.
It has been a real pleasure to collaborate with others, including:
- the four Inns of Court in their range of educational programmes, including the Pegasus programme and Pathways to Law
- Tower Hamlets Education & Business Partnership
- Through the Looking Glass
- Corporation of London’s Heart of the City
- Social Mobility Foundation
A scheme that we are particularly proud of is our industry year student placement scheme that has been running for many years. The scheme is advertised openly at the beginning of each year for a placement that starts in June. As Stonewall Diversity Champions and London Living Wage employers we have been attracting excellent applicants. We have been particularly targeting students from non-Russell Group universities. Our students return to university after a year at Hardwicke to complete their university degree, watched proudly by their ex-Hardwicke colleagues who are willing them success!
Our most recent student Yasmin who has just returned for her final year at Sheffield Hallam University said: “As a marketing student I have been able to apply theory into practice every day. It is fast-paced and different. I have lots to do with the barristers and clients and I help host events, including the work experience programme. I am encouraged to develop my own ideas by being an integral part of a supportive team. Being here has given me a work ethic and a proper understanding of a professional service environment. I will always remember Hardwicke as the starting point in my life and career and it opened my eyes of what I can achieve. I’ve been so lucky, and encouraged by inspirational, successful people.”
The application form for our student placement scheme appears in about February and can be found on our Recruitment pages.
Recognising that we have spent many years working on these initiatives, and that many people have experienced Hardwicke one way or another, we created the Hardwicke Alumni Club to keep in touch and to continue to help, track and support the progress of people’s lives and careers.
- Charitable giving
The barristers and staff at Hardwicke regularly organise, participate and donate in fund-raising events for a range of charitable causes. We also like to support others in their charitable activities, and often work together with our clients on their own CSR programmes and fund-raising.
Recognising that meeting room space in the centre of London is such a premium, Hardwicke is delighted to work with charitable organisations to donate its seminar and meeting room space free of charge, when availability allows.
There are a number of events in the CSR and legal calendar at which groups of Hardwicke colleagues participate together, including baking cakes, wearing pink/green/jeans, playing softball, playing ping pong the doing the 10K London Legal Walk organised by the London Legal Support Trust.
This picture is a good example. Amanda Illing, CEO says: “I love the picture on this page. A group of smiling people raising money and doing something worthwhile together, made up of barristers, an international lawyer intern, a research assistant an aspiring barrister, a practice manager, a marketing person, an office manager, an industry year student placement, a fees manager, a supporting relative who comes along to take part, a Head of Chambers, a CEO. Oh, and a mascot dog. And the best thing? You don’t necessarily know which one is which because we are all in it together. That’s Hardwicke!”
We have particularly enjoyed collaborating with charities to put on events to attract our clients and raise awareness and support, including our famous ping pong and pizza nights and the many events we have hosted in collaboration with the Sir John Soane Museum.
Finally, our CSR activities are led from the top. Joint Head of Chambers, PJ Kirby QC, has made fame on several occasions by running a 70-seater pop up restaurant for guests to dine his own 6-course culinary extravaganza, all funds in aid of the Save the Children Billable Hour Appeal.
- Pro bono
Many people at Hardwicke (barristers and staff) give up their time to undertake roles in a range of charitable organisations as trustees or participants in other ways. Many barristers provide pro bono (free) advice to those who cannot afford legal representation through schemes run by organisations including the Bar Pro Bono Unit, ELAAS, CLIPS and FRU.
Sometimes a barrister will agree to take a case on a pro bono basis either at the start or for the entirety of a case. Sometimes clients will be able to get funding once the case has started. These decisions are for individual barristers to make with the support of Hardwicke.
Hardwicke has developed strong links to organisations that provide free representation, including charities and Citizens Advice Bureaux.
Recognising that meeting room space in the centre of London is such a premium, Hardwicke is delighted to work with charitable organisations to donate its seminar and meeting room space free of charge, when availability allows. The range of high quality room space can be viewed here.
As an example, Hardwicke was delighted to host a weekend course called “Women Leading Social Change” run by social entrepreneur, Caroline Ellis.
Bar Pro Bono Unit
The Bar Pro Bono Unit based at the Pro Bono Centre in Chancery Lane is a charity which helps to find pro bono legal assistance from volunteer barristers for those in society who cannot afford to pay. At Hardwicke, we recognise the important role the Bar Pro Bono Unit (BPBU) plays within the Bar community and have developed ways to foster our relationship with the BPBU and support the fantastic work it is doing. Hardwicke barristers act as case assessors and as advocates for the BPBU. Hardwicke’s current Bar Pro Bono Unit Champion is Brie Stevens-Hoare QC.
Hardwicke is delighted to give up its room space to accommodate the BPBU for committee meetings and strategy meetings from time to time.
Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme (CLIPS)
CLIPS is a scheme run by the Chancery Bar Association, the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau and the Bar Pro Bono Unit. Barristers at Hardwicke volunteer for the scheme where one or two barristers make themselves available each applications day outside Court 10 to help litigants in person.
Free Representation Unit (FRU)
FRU is one of the oldest free legal representation organisations since 1972, providing legal advice, case preparation and advocacy in tribunal cases for those who could not otherwise obtain legal support. Hardwicke barristers who take part provide advisory and advocacy services in employment tribunals (and the Employment Appeal Tribunal) and in benefit appeals.
Personal Support Unit (PSU)
The PSU provides practical and emotional support to people who are representing themselves in court (litigants in person). Hardwicke has worked in partnership with the PSU for many years, to support the key role it plays in supporting vulnerable self-representing litigants at court.
Nigel Jones QC, and his wife Monique, a professional cabaret singer, performed at one of the Friends of the PSU Gala evenings, raising money for the PSU.
Hardwicke is delighted to give up its room space to accommodate the PSU for committee meetings and strategy meetings from time to time.
Employment Lawyers Appeals Advice Scheme (ELAAS)
Members of Hardwicke’s employment team give free advocacy as part of the ELAAS rota in the Employment Appeal Tribunal as part of the scheme.
- Equality, diversity & inclusion
We are committed to EDI which runs through all our policies and procedures. You can find more details of our EDI commitment here.
- Environmental Commitment
Hardwicke is committed to take all reasonable steps to operate as an environmentally sustainable organisation. Our Green Team take the lead in initiatives that aim to minimise our contribution to climate change.
In recognition of the Green Team’s achievements, Hardwicke received the Award for Environmental Excellence in 2017 in appreciation of our work in recycling and reducing CO2 emissions.
The range of Green Team initiatives include:
- We educate staff and members to be more environmentally conscious and it is included in our induction programmes.
- We take steps to reduce our building energy footprint by turning off lights, computers and monitors each night.
- We have motion sensors that control our lights, automatically turning them off when there is no movement.
- Paper, card, plastics, aluminium, batteries, computer parts and CDs are fully recycled. Lever arch folder are re-used and we make every effort to limit the amount of paper print, using double sided and A5 as a norm.
- Our Blue Planet project encourages colleagues to stop taking plastic knives and forks when buying their lunch, and to use ‘keep cups’ for coffee, rather than take away cups with plastic lids.
- As far as possible our food stuff (biscuits etc) are sourced from fair trade and ethical sources. We buy local where we can.
If you have any queries, please contact Administration Manager, Allison Longley.