Modern Slavery Act

Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

This statement is made in line with s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) and sets out the steps that Venner Shipley LLP (“Venner Shipley”) has taken and is continuing to take to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within its business or supply chain. Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour. Venner Shipley is committed to acting ethically and with integrity and transparency in all business dealings.

Our business

This Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement applies to Venner Shipley, a leading firm of European patent and trade mark attorneys and lawyers with offices in London, Cambridge, Guildford, Manchester, Munich and Tunbridge Wells. The firm employs around 180 people.

As part of our commitment to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in its supply chains, it has the following internal policies to ensure that it is conducting business in an ethical and transparent manner:

  • Recruitment procedures
    Venner Shipley works with a carefully selected list of reputable recruitment agencies to source both permanent and temporary staff. We are signatories to the Good Recruitment Charter and require all agencies with whom we work to abide by this. Venner Shipley conducts robust checks on any new employees, including eligibility to work in the UK, to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy
    Our Equality, diversity and inclusion policy aims to ensure that the firm provides a fair working environment where all current and prospective staff are treated fairly and where difference is respected and valued. The policy applies equally to our suppliers and third parties in the expectation that their standards and ethical standards will be in line with our own.
  • Employee engagement
    All employees have an obligation to familiarise themselves with our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement which is included in the Employee handbook.
  • Training
    To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and Human Trafficking in our business, we plan to provide appropriate training to our staff.
  • Whistle blowing policy
    The business has a whistle blowing policy so that all employees can raise any concerns that they might have without fear of reprisals.

Due Diligence for Slavery and Human Trafficking

As part of Venner Shipley due diligence process we have identified and are in the process of mitigating risks as follows:

  • Identify and assess potential risk areas in our supply chains.
  • Where practical, mitigate the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains.
  • Monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains.
  • Protect whistle blowers.
  • Ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business by providing training to all relevant staff.

We do not and will not knowingly support or deal with any business involved in slavery and human trafficking. The Company completes due diligence on its suppliers, where practicable, to satisfy itself that it is trading with a reputable organisation. The Company expects all those in its supply chain to be opposed to slavery and human trafficking. As a minimum, the Company expects each entity in its supply chain to adopt ‘one-up’ due diligence on the next link in the chain for those organisations governed by the Act. It is not practical for the Company to have a direct relationship with all links in the supply chain.

This statement has been approved by the Partners and it is available on the Venner Shipley website. This Statement will be reviewed on an annual basis and will be updated as required.

December 2023