Shoosmiths to fine lawyers £200 for flying to meetings

The levy aims to help the UK firm reduce its carbon footprint

Shoosmiths to fine lawyers £200 for flying to meetings

Shoosmiths lawyers will be hit with a penalty of £200 if they fly to meetings, as part of efforts by one of the UK’s largest law firms to reduce its carbon footprint, reported the Telegraph.

Shoosmiths told the Times it wasn’t trying to stop lawyers from flying completely but is aiming to “ensure our people stop and think about whether they need to”. 

In August, Shoosmiths set out plans to cut its carbon footprint to net zero by 2025, according to the Telegraph. The firm said it was “committed to protecting the environment by demonstrating high standards of environmental responsibility in all our operations”.

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Many businesses are struggling to reduce carbon emissions amid growing pressure from investors. 

The pandemic also led companies to rethink their normal travel plans with the rapid rise of video-conferencing technology. 

Sophie Hulgard, senior vice-president for sales at hospitality group Accor, anticipated in August that there would be 20 percent fewer business trips in 2022 than in 2019. 

She told the Telegraph: “Twenty percent of business meetings may have gone forever, to be replaced by virtual equivalents or the realisation that they simply weren’t necessary in the first place."

At Shoosmiths, as well as the levy for flying, senior partners are also offering extra bonuses for staff who help meet the net zero target by significantly cutting their energy use, the Times reported. 

While the levy for flying will come out of the communal budget rather than lawyers’ personal salaries, breaches of the policy will be noted, the Times added. 

David Jackson, who took over as Shoosmiths’ chief executive in May, told the Telegraph: “We’re also proud to see our carbon net zero statistics move in the right direction and were thrilled that our science-based emissions reduction targets were validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.”

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