This statement sets out the steps Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP is taking to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our business or our supply chains.

1.  Slavery and human trafficking statement

Modern slavery is a crime involving the violation of human rights encompassing slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP opposes slavery and human trafficking in all its forms. We are making this statement to set out the steps we are taking to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our business or our supply chains. 

2.  About us

Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP was formed in November 2023 from the merger of Morton Fraser LLP and MacRoberts LLP. Both legacy entities were not within the threshold reporting requirements for the Modern Slavery Act 2015 but both firms issued statements to confirm their commitment to meeting the requirements of the Act on a voluntary basis.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts are an independent, full service commercial Scottish law firm working with clients in all key sectors of the economy. We have a broad client base of businesses, individuals and public bodies.

This statement shows our commitment to ethical trading principles sets out the steps we are taking to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in our business and our supply chains.

Our supply chains are mainly made up of the following:

  • IT suppliers of hardware, software and support services. 
  • Other professional service firms such as accountants, banks, training organisations, legal firms, recruitment agents, marketing consultants, benefit providers and health & wellbeing consultants. 
  • Office services such as stationery, shredding, cleaning, catering, document storage, waste recycling, security, maintenance and mail services. 

We believe that for a firm of our size, the number of suppliers we use are kept to a level where we have fostered good working relationships. The majority of suppliers are sourced locally and internal procedures ensure adequate procurement pricing and prompt payment.

3.  Our commitment to ethical trading and responsible business

As a leading Scottish law firm, our commitment to responsible business is one that is within the spirit of the regulations with which we need to abide. We are committed to ethical trading principles and to acquiring goods and services without taking advantage and causing harm to others. We act ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and implement effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.

We have a number of internal policies to ensure operational integrity including:

  • Recruitment policy
  • Anti-bribery and corruption policy
  • Procurement policy
  • Whistleblowing policy
  • Environmental policy
  • Quality policy
  • Privacy notices

4.  Due diligence

We undertake a due diligence process for all new suppliers and sub-contractors. We will risk assess them and where appropriate ask to see their own modern slavery statements or to positively affirm that they are not involved in slavery or human trafficking. Additionally, we will have oversight arrangements and methods of supplier evaluation in place once a business relationship progresses.  

As we provide legal services which are captured as part of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, we are under an obligation to carry out initial and ongoing Client Due Diligence (CDD) checks on third parties with whom we enter into agreements for the supply of services. We believe that this due diligence provides us with a deeper understanding and oversight of these parties.

We only employ agency workers through reputable employment agencies. 

5.  Risk assessment

Given the nature of our business and consequent supply chain, Morton Fraser MacRoberts does not consider that there is a significant risk of slavery and human trafficking.

In coming to this conclusion, we have assessed the following risk types:

  • Geographical risks – Morton Fraser MacRoberts suppliers are almost exclusively UK based.
  • Sector risks – the sectors in which our suppliers provide their services are generally not associated with slavery and human trafficking.
  • Business partnership risks – the majority of our suppliers are long standing where we have fostered strong working relationships over the years and built-up knowledge of their own working environment. 

6.  Awareness training

To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, we will provide awareness training to employees within the firm.  

While we believe the risk of slavery and human trafficking is low, the training provided serves to highlight ‘red flags’ which may be associated with instances of slavery and human trafficking. 

7.  Internal processes

Internal processes implemented to help ensure that modern slavery is not prevalent within the firm or our supply chain are as follows:

  • We ensure legal compliance in all our recruitment and selection processes. We advertise all vacancies internally and externally using official advertising services. All employees must provide evidence that they are eligible to work in the UK and we request references from their former employer.
  • We ask our material suppliers for copies of their modern slavery statements, or, if it is not applicable to them, we ask them to make a positive affirmation that they are not party to it.
  • We ask questions on modern slavery as part of our supplier due diligence process where we ask potential suppliers to complete a questionnaire on their processes, controls and practices.
  • Our Whistle Blowing Policy reassures employees that they can raise concerns about situations / practices within the business or supply chain without fear of reprisal. We are also open to an approach from any contractor, supplier or third party who may have a concern about modern slavery.
  • We are a Living Wage Employer and pay salaries which are equal to or above the figure recommended each year by the Living Wage Foundation. 

8.  Management Board

This modern slavery and human trafficking statement is made in connection with section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

It is an interim statement ahead of Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP first required statement being made within 6 months of our financial year end of 30 April 2024. 

Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP
25th March 2024

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