The Chancery Lane Project is the foremost organisation producing free, green drafting clauses and contract drafting guidance for many types of different contracts, including construction contracts. The clauses it drafts are each named after a child, as a reminder of why we are doing this.
The Project works as a voluntary collective of lawyers from jurisdictions all over the world who come together virtually via "hackathons" to draft collaboratively. It has now drafted over 100 clauses, guidance, definitions and other useful documents and more are being added in a regular basis.
Trowers & Hamlins is an official legal partner of the Care Leaver Covenant, a programme developed under the Department for Education's "Keep on Caring" policy, aiming to improve outcomes for care leavers.
The Care Leaver Covenant tackles the disadvantages that young people aged 16-25 face when leaving care and helps them to live independently. Working with a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors, who sign up to the Covenant, tangible opportunities for care leavers are created, including employment, education and training, safety and security, health, financial independence and independent living.
The firm provides support to the Covenant with their legal responsibilities on a pro-bono basis. One example of our work together is a 12-page ‘Toolkit’ to equip councils with the ability to offer dedicated support for care leavers at the procurement phase. The toolkit combines guidance on language, advertisement and contract management as well as giving examples of best practice from councils that are leading in their support for vulnerable groups.
Trowers & Hamlins has signed up to the ‘Birmingham Business Pledge’ (the Pledge) a declaration of intent to support the city’s future. The Pledge is a positive statement from 19 leading Birmingham employers about the city centre’s future. Its aim is to achieve a way forward for a more sustainable and economically and socially productive city centre through collaborative action. The Pledge is built upon five pillars: to contribute to the sustainability of the city, to be inclusive leaders, to create and sustain spaces for people to grow, to embrace the city’s unique offering, and to celebrate the city.
Pro Bono and Partnership with A4ID
Our people share their legal knowledge and expertise on a pro bono basis to offer support where there are gaps in resources and funding. We are signatories of the Law Society's Pro Bono Charter, which supports high quality pro bono work across the profession, and have renewed our partnership with A4ID, a global charity who works in partnership with the world's leading law firms to provide free access to legal advice for NGOs, for a fourth year.
During the year, we've donated over 90 hours of pro bono advice across seven projects for A4ID, with fee-earners in our Employment & Pensions, Real Estate, Banking & Finance and Corporate departments having supported clients.
The firm is a founding signatory to PRIME, a profession-wide scheme aimed at improving social mobility amongst young people by providing valuable work experience opportunities. The firm works closely with an inner London secondary school offering placements as part of an annual programme, providing practical skills training and an insight life in a City law firm.
City Solicitors Horizons is a social mobility programme that aims to improve access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It has been initiated by the City of London Solicitors Company, City Solicitors Educational Trust and the Legal Education Foundation, with support of the City of London Law Society and piloted by other leading law firms. Each year, a number of students are identified annually from universities across the South East of England and selected to take part in the three year programme alongside their undergraduate degrees. Each intake benefits from comprehensive classroom and one to one training sessions, mentoring from lawyers and (pandemic allowing) work experience from sponsoring firms.
We are an affiliate partner of Aspiring Solicitors (AS), an organisation whose primary aim is to increase diversity in the legal profession by helping its members to secure vacation schemes and training contracts in law firms. Aspiring Solicitors are committed to increasing diversity across all underrepresented groups in the profession. As part of our continued partnership, we host events and open days for AS members, attend law fairs and provide mentors through the firm ambassador programme. In 2020, 24 of the 36 trainees recruited were AS members (67%).
Social Mobility Pledge: As part of the City of London Law Society (CLLS), Trowers and the 14 other CLLS members are working alongside Justine Greening in the development of an Opportunity Action Plan to level up Britain in the wake of Covid-19.
As part this partnership, Trowers and the other CLLS members are working closely with a number of universities, including Bradford, Greenwich, Lincoln, Staffordshire and York St John with the aim of creating wider pathways from higher education into the legal sector. The Opportunity Action Plan also aims to set out how firms plan to go further and play a leading role in Britain’s national recovery from COVID-19, opening up greater access to careers in the legal sector to people from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Race Fairness Commitment
We are a founding signatory of the Race Fairness Commitment (RFC), a series of commitments that aim to increase the opportunities for Black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) lawyers through a range of data-drive techniques that identify barriers and areas for improvement within the firm's culture and hierarchy. Working closely with Rare Recruitment, a diversity recruitment specialist, we are committed to a range of measures designed to address racial inequality within the workplace. These include quantitative data analysis that will monitor employee lifecycles from application-to-interview rate, stay gaps, promotion rates and equal pay analysis. This commitment expands upon our commitment to inclusion through our TrowersIncludes initiatives and has helped to shape and develop the firm's Race Action Plan.
National Literacy Pledge 2021
The firm is a signatory of the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge, a scheme by the National Literacy Trust to help awareness of and improve literacy levels in the UK. Literacy is integral to success in the modern workplace. To improve people's access to education and jobs, it is important to promote literacy and encourage reading for fun in this age where other forms of entertainment are just as easy to access. We promote literacy internally amongst our colleagues, externally in our local communities and using our networks to raise awareness of these issues.
Trowers provides funding to this joint venture between CLLS, Young Legal Aid Lawyers, Law Centres Network, BARBRI and the Legal Aid Practitioners Group which aims to increase access to justice and increase entry into the legal profession by funding dedicated social welfare workers through the Solicitors Qualification Examination. By providing funding, this venture will enable greater access to social welfare legal services, helping many disadvantaged clients.