We recognise that we have a responsibility to ensure our business has a positive impact on the people, communities and environment around us.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is important to us. The success of our business relies upon our ability to attract, train and retain the best people. We support diversity throughout our business and make every effort to create and maintain an inclusive culture. We recognise our responsibilities in the community and encourage our people to engage in activities that better society and build trust in our local communities. As a forward-looking firm, we understand the importance of minimising our environmental impact. Therefore we are committed to facilitating environmentally friendly working practices by our people and in our offices.

The concept of CSR is in our opinion under developed in our profession. We don’t want to just do what is required like many other firms - but go above and beyond. We have built our business over 150 years by looking ahead and adapting and changing at the right times. Thinking about the future of our planet and society, being a good corporate citizen and doing our bit to make a difference is a high priority for the firm. Our recent rebrand was to capture what we believe is at the very heart of our firm – being forward-looking. To be a truly forward-looking firm, community must be at the very heart of our culture. We are at the beginning of an exciting journey to develop what we believe will be a vital community programme to deliver our CSR initiatives. Our Forward Community Programme covers the following key areas:

Inclusion & Diversity

Making sure that equality and diversity are celebrated. We want a firm that has diversity of thought, ideas and viewpoints and where all our people, regardless of their background, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation feel they belong. Inclusion and diversity is high on the agenda for Mewburn Ellis. It’s part of our business plan and is being driven by our management board. For us, inclusion and diversity is more than just a tick-box exercise – it is an issue that’s long been on our agenda and ingrained in our business plan and imbedded in our culture. 

We've come a long way in this important area. We have undertaken an audit of our existing culture, processes and practices to help us develop a strategic I&D framework that explores four key areas. Inclusivity for us is about the people we hire, the careers we nurture, the culture we build and the relationships we have with our clients.  We have already started to make changes in these areas. We have created a new board level role of Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer as well as launched an Inclusion & Diversity Collaboration Group. We have rolled out training to all our leaders, signed up to the IP Inclusive Senior Leader's Pledge and are also now proud to be using Rare Recruitment's Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) which allows us to consider an applicant's achievements in the context in which they were gained. 

Community

For us this means nurturing our people, helping everyone develop and contributing to the wider communities in which we operate as well as supporting worthy causes with time and money. As a firm we have made a commitment to donate 1% of our profits to charity as well as over 300 days of time to good causes. We support charities at a firmwide and local office level.

This year we have chosen to support Coronavirus related charities at a firmwide level and we are also a national sponsor of the CREST Awards run by the British Science Association. Our people have also chosen a local charity for each office, more details of which can be found below. We have also given all our people one community day per year to enable them to support causes they care about. In addition we operate a Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme so our people can donate to charities of their choice in a simple and tax effective way. Our combined community effort amounts to more than £150,000 of investment and over 300 days of time donated to good causes. Find out more below about our plans for charitable giving of both time and money.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a complex area and a ongoing focus for our firm. Our priority is to make sure that the way we operate has as little environmental impact as possible. We are looking at how we deal with waste, energy and reducing our carbon footprint, with the objective to eliminate our use if we can, reduce where possible or substitute if necessary. This is a broad approach and covers everything from how we manage our offices to the travel we undertake the decisions we make about the suppliers and products we use.

We're at the start of the journey for this project and working hard to implement key changes to our business. To help us we have developed a five step climate action plan that we're using as a framework to help us improve in this key area. Some steps are long-term and will take time, others are quicker wins that we're implementing now. All are tangible, a priority for us and part of our business plan with board level support.  

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Gender Pay Gap: Updated for 2020/21

COMMITTED TO GENDER EQUALITY

We have taken the decision to be open about our Gender Pay Gap figures, even though as a partnership with fewer than 250 employees we are not yet required to report on these statistics. We have been tracking them for the last four years and have produced them for both our staff and our partnership.

In summary for 2020/21 our median pay gap was 26.5%. This is an increase from the 2019/20 figure of 22.3%. In terms of our bonus gap, there is still no median gap as men and women are paid the same.

The gender split of our teams remains biased towards women at 65% and men at 35%, This is a change from 59% women and 41% men in 2019/20.  We still have significantly more women at 60% in upper middle positions than men at 40%. At the upper level, the split has changed from 45% men and 55% women in 2019 to 49% men and 51% women in 2020/21.

We currently have 48 partners in total. 73% of our partners are male and 27% are female. In our lower and middle quartiles our partnership remains 58% men and 42% women. We are making strong improvements in these partnership quartiles and are committed to having a diverse partnership. 

We are not evenly split in our upper quartiles. We want to change this, but evolving the make-up of our partnership will take time. Upper quartile partners have been at the firm for 25-30 years and at the time they joined the firm, there were far fewer women studying STEM qualifications. It is important to note that our partnership continually expands, rather than specific spaces being allocated or a 'one in one out' system being in place; this also affects the rate gender balance can change. 

Read our community & CSR related blogs

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Sustainable Communities

Special Report

The special report talks about our approach to our Forward Community Programme and specifically includes the following:

  • Details of our commitments around I&D with a summary of work completed so far, as well as a summary of our strategy for the future. 
  • Our full Gender Pay Gap data since we started reporting in 2019
  • A summary of our community giving and payments made by charity over the last 2 years, totaling over £600,000
  • Our Five Step Climate Action plan, details about our Mewburn Forest now over 26,000 trees and our first Energy & Carbon Report

 

Download the Report

Talk to us about our Community Programme

Richard Clegg

Managing Partner, European Patent Attorney

Lillian Cunliffe

Head of HR

Maria Hall

Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer

Sean Harvey

Chief Financial & Operating Officer

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Mewburn Ellis

FORWARD MAGAZINE

Mewburn Ellis Forward is a biannual publication that celebrates the best of innovation and exploration. We run regular columns in the magazine on inclusivity and many of our articles have a focus on sustainability.

Our magazine is printed on paper that has been sourced from sustainably managed forests which adhere to environmentally approved standards. This paper has less carbon footprint than recycled paper. The full magazine, including the cover, can be recycled and the wrapper that is used to protect the magazine is made from starch-based biopolymers, meaning it is compostable. 

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