• Helen Dolan, specialist catastrophic medical negligence lawyer, recovered compensation in excess of £29million for clients with a brain injury (including cerebral palsy) in 2016
  • Hugh Potter secured a settlement figure of just under £13 million thanks to change in discount rate
  • Rachel Rees, expert personal injury lawyer, recovered over £15 million in compensation for clients with a brain injury last year

Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

June 2016

At Potter Rees Dolan we are fully aware of our responsibility as individuals and as a firm for the impact our activities have on the environment and the communities in which we operate.

We are committed to ensuring we establish and embrace valid practical policies and plans to show how we will acknowledge that responsibility and take action to implement it.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

We see our CSR as:
  1. Understanding how our daily business affects the environment and establishing strategies to reduce the impact our activities have and by reducing our carbon footprint, both as individuals and as a firm;
  2. Creating a professional, positive, friendly and comfortable environment for our staff to work in through various initiatives and a clear and well communicated Equality and Diversity Policy;
  3. Managing the firm in an ethical way with regards to supervision, confidentiality, risk management, conflicts of interest, money laundering, regulatory and statutory compliance, health and safety and whistle-blowing;
  4. Establishing a level of annual pro bono work, donations and fundraising for charities

How we do it:

The Environment:

  • All lights within the office, PCs (including monitors), printers, air-conditioning and other electrical appliances are switched off when not in use and especially in the evening and weekends when the offices are closed;
  • We have an energy-efficient, modern building including motion sensing on the lighting system within the communal areas;
  • We use flat screens and energy-efficient computers;
  • We recycle at least 90% of the general paper and cardboard within the office and 100% of the confidential waste, with all recycling collected once per week by a shredding and recycling firm;
  • Plastic bottled and cartons are separated and recycled weekly;
  • We consider the environmental impacts of the materials we buy and use recycled paper wherever possible

Staff Welfare:

  • We work in a modern, energy-efficient office building using an open plan arrangement that encourages team work;
  • We provide flexible working arrangements where possible for staff to allow them to fit their home and work lives together more easily;
  • We provide a cycle park and access to a shower to encourage cycling to work;
  • We provide free access to a fully equipped gym to allow staff to exercise and take time out of their working day
  • We encourage staff to enjoy the kitchen and drinks facilities at times to suit them, ensuring they have regular breaks from their screens and/or working environment
  • We promote equality and diversity within the workplace and provide training for all staff on this aspect
  • The firm aims to be sufficiently profitable to allow all staff a good standard of living but not to ‘maximise’ profits

Work Practices:

  • We have clear policies and procedures in place for the effective supervision of client files
  • File reviews are carried out regularly to ensure continuity and excellent standard of service to all clients
  • We ensure all Solicitors Regulation Authority and Law Society ethics and regulations are adhered to through comprehensive training, policies and procedures with particular regard to anti-money laundering, solicitors accounts rules, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, equal opportunities and health and safety
  • Regular partner meetings along with bi-annual Board meetings are carried out to review and update all policies and procedures if necessary
  • Training is assessed regularly to ensure staff feel supported and competent to carry out their role or perform their duties within the company efficiently and without stress
  • We ensure staff are encouraged to start and finish on time in accordance with their contracted working hours so as to avoid ‘burn out’

The Community:

  • The firm has an established policy that around 5% of work the firm does annually will be pro bono
  • The firm supports charities in many ways; particularly the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and Headway, through sponsorship, Christmas cards, fundraising and voluntary work
  • Staff are encouraged and are given time off to sit on charitable boards. Many of the staff are committee members or Chairpersons of regional Headway centres; staff have undertaken marathons, triathlons and other activities to raise funds for SIA, Headway, BRAKE and others

Progress Made:

We have, since June 2010;

Reduced printers within the office by 75% - we reviewed the need for printers on each desk and have only three printers and one fax machine within the office servicing all staff;

Stored printing - we now print all our output to a hard drive within the printers which helps eliminates the need to print unwanted output onto paper, reducing our paper usage by some 15%

Increased our recycling of plastic and other waste within the office – we now have a collection and recycling of the majority of our plastic, glass and other recyclable waste

Lever arch files - we now re-use and recycle, where possible, old lever arch files for use internally, reducing the need for the additional purchase of paper items and reduces waste


Plans for future improvements:

  • Progressive reduction in the environmental impact of our business activities – investigate additional opportunities for adopting environmentally friendly initiatives such as car sharing scheme, public transport subsidies, work towards a paperless ‘dead-file’ system
  • Encourage working in the community – encouraging staff to volunteer one day per year to local good causes by giving paid time off and/or an extra day’s holiday if this falls on a weekend.

This policy will be reviewed at the next year-end meeting in 2017