Being a better business

We see it as our purpose to create a positive impact. The impact we have on our people, our communities, and our planet does more than inform our work. It gets us up in the morning.

We believe that the “classic” economic model – with businesses focusing solely on maximising profit while doing some good deeds on the side – isn’t sustainable. Corporate Social Responsibility is a start, but it’s only a start. Instead, we’re part of the movement that puts profits and purpose on equal footing. Both must be present for the long-term sustainability of business.

Making a profit is core to all businesses, but doing so while having a social purpose means an organisation can make wiser business decisions, assess the impact of these decisions on others, and protect its interests long-term. This is how we aspire to run our business. Focusing on both profit and purpose has involved integrating some important beliefs into our business operations:

Making a profit is core to all businesses, but doing so while having a social purpose means an organisation can make wiser business decisions, assess the impact of these decisions on others, and protect its interests long-term. This is how we aspire to run our business. Focusing on both profit and purpose has involved integrating some important beliefs into our business operations:

We believe that we must have a positive impact on our people, as they’re our greatest asset.  We want to have a positive impact on our people, so that our people can have a positive impact on others. This belief means that we attract, foster, and retain passionate and ambitious people who are looking to provide top-notch legal advice while also contributing to society. We foster this dual-drive by creating a culture of support and wellness.

We have been recognised with a ‘Best Companies to Work For’ award and consistently feature as one of ‘The Escape 100: Best Companies to Escape to Awards’ by Escape the City. These recognitions are earned by encouraging our people to take volunteer days and trustee positions, supporting a highly active Diversity and Inclusion Forum, and appreciating the commitments people have outside of work (which is why 25% of people Bates Wells work fewer than five days a week, and why you’ll rarely see the dull-blue glow of computer screens lighting our office late into the night).

We believe that we have a responsibility to engage positively with our communities and to make meaningful social contributions. We are a commercial firm, yet embracing our purpose means we understand the motivations which drive social enterprises, non-profits and public organisations. In an effort to put our money where our mouth is, we donate a proportion of our profits to address social issues. We also play our part by giving thousands of hours of pro-bono work, and our people hold over one hundred charity trusteeships.

We also enjoy working with other commercial organisations to create a positive impact. It’s why we helped to launch B Corp in the UK – a movement that looks to use business as a force for good – and it’s also why we became the first UK-based, B Corp certified law firm.

We believe that it’s critical to minimise our impact on the Planet. We have formally recognised the climate emergency, and in doing so have made a number of commitments.  We genuinely believe that growth doesn’t have to come with a high environmental cost and are trying to work as sustainably as we can.

Creating a positive impact is a long-term goal and though we haven’t cracked every detail and there’s always more to do, we’re working on it.

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