find the latest legal job
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Great Career Opportunity ·
View details
Insurance and Health Lawyer (1-4 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· New position to support Growth ·
View details
Silver not tarnishing for Minters

Silver not tarnishing for Minters

MINTER ELLISON was the only law firm to take part in the recently published Corporate Responsibility Index, a self-assessment tool to assess a company or firm’s corporate social responsibility…

MINTER ELLISON was the only law firm to take part in the recently published Corporate Responsibility Index, a self-assessment tool to assess a company or firm’s corporate social responsibility approach, management and performance.

Pressed as to why Minters was the only firm that took part in the survey, Minter Ellison’s National Director of Pro Bono and Community Investment Program, Anton Hermann, said he has been told that other firms have looked at it, but haven’t committed. “It’s one thing to say we’d like to be more accountable,” he said, “but another to actually take the plunge”.

Minter Ellison, which sits alongside companies including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto in the Index, receives an overall score of 74.99 per cent and less. It received a silver star, that is between 80 and 89.99 per cent, for Corporate Strategy and Management Practice. And, for Performance and Impact, Assurance and Disclosure and Integration, it received the lowest grade of 74.99 per cent or less.

The results, according to Hermann, reveal that the firm has some room for improvement, but also shows its own commitment to the field. “You’re never happy if some of your results are below average of a group, but we have some areas of strength and some areas we need to improve,” he said.

Driving the firm to take part in the Index was a decision made in 2003 to become more involved in the field of corporate social responsibility. The firm has since then aimed to formalise its community investment program and play a leadership role in the field. “So when the [Corporate Responsibility Index] opportunity came up, we saw it as a way to test ourselves as well as going beyond our comfort zone to be benchmarked against others,” said Hermann.

“We’d like to think that over time our result will improve and that we’ll get a better idea about key issues and how we can reach higher levels,” he said.

The St James Ethics Centre, which collated results and provided feedback, said the value of the Index lies in the way it can assist a company to identify areas for improvement and therefore become a more sustainable and successful enterprise.

“Corporate responsibility is much more than doing ad hoc good works in the community — it’s primarily about how you manage your business and communicate reliable information about your company, making sure that what you say you are doing is what you are actually doing and not just PR sign,” said St James Ethic Centre Simon Longstaff.

One success for Minters, said Hermann, was in the area Management Practice, attributed to the amount of work the firm is doing in this area. Claiming there are some strong structures in management, Hermann said the firm had worked since 2003 on ways to capture the community spirit in the firm, “and not just rest on our laurels but get out there and play a leadership role”.

Regarding the firm’s environmental management, it comes down to its “environmental footprint”, which is not significant, Hermann said. The way the firm captures information about its environmental performance is important, as well as being aware of reducing paper usage and being more energy conscious. “We have taken some good steps but we are not capturing some of the results yet.”

Attempting to explain the apparently lower standards achieved by the firm, Hermann said that there is a difference between a law firm structure such as that of Minters, as opposed to a publicly listed company. A publicly listed company has greater requirements in terms of transparency and public reporting, “while some of our performance in this field is more optional and discretionary”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Silver not tarnishing for Minters
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Quentin Bryce
06:05
DV has worsened in a generation: Quentin Bryce
Former governor-general of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO has spoken of her deep distress about...
Lawyers
06:00
Academics entertain the idea of law without lawyers
Researchers from Queensland will explore some of the most disruptive trends tipped to transform the ...
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...