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UN Global Compact Communication on Progress

Our commitments

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This is our second Communication on Progress report against the ten principles of the UN Global Compact ("UNGC"). Since becoming a signatory in October 2016, we have continued to increase focus and progress on our commitment and this report aims to inform that progress.

As our firm's Chair, I am extraordinarily proud of our people's efforts to contribute to and recognise the social context in which we work as a team, whether as lawyers or through other roles supporting our service to our clients and our own culture.

Like any other business, our firm can only succeed sustainably if our people feel motivated and proud of the work they do and the organisation they are part of. Specifically as a law firm and as professionals, we have wider responsibilities beyond the laws applicable to other businesses. In fact the values that being in a profession seeks to represent are part of the integrity and responsibility that motivate so many of our people.

We see our commitments to the UNGC principles and the Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs") as aligned to our values and the sense of purpose our teams seek.

As for any complex group of people our culture is key in this regard, but it is neither static or as consistent as simple assertions or sweeping commitments can infer. If we are to take our social obligations seriously, as we are committed to doing, we need to be open about the challenges. We see compliance with the principles and a focus on the SDGs as something that we will continue to engage with, not as a new concept but building on the desire to contribute and to do the right thing, which we believe we must not lose sight of in competitive business environments. Combining the achievement of success which, will allow us to sustain a strong culture, with a values driven approach, is a continuous focus for us.

I hope you will enjoy reading about some of the ways in which we have pursued our commitment to the UNGC as part of that values driven goal.

James Palmer's signature

James Palmer
Chair and Senior Partner
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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