Statement on Modern Slavery
Modern slavery is an international crime estimated to affect tens of millions of people around the world. This growing global issue transcends age, gender and ethnicities. It includes victims trafficked from overseas and vulnerable people in the UK who are illegally forced to work against their will across many sectors.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires commercial organisations supplying goods and services with a turnover of above £36 million to prepare and publish an annual ‘Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement’. WP Thompson does not meet the financial threshold that requires it to publish such a statement. However, as an organisation, we fully support the objectives of the legislation and accordingly we have taken the decision to publish a statement on a voluntary basis.
As a firm of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys founded in 1873, the business of WP Thompson has been intimately involved with promoting and supporting the innovation that underpins the business of our clients for nearly 150 years. Our corporate philosophy is based on the premise that as a professional services firm, our role is to embrace change and offer our clients the best possible long-term advice to ensure that their intellectual property is protected, forward-looking and future-ready, either through new technologies or new approaches that meet the needs of our ever-changing world.
As a professional services firm regulated by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (“IPReg”), we are bound to apply the standards of professional conduct set out in the Rules of Conduct for Patent Attorneys, Trade Mark Attorneys and Other Regulated Persons published by IPReg. We must act at all times with integrity, putting clients’ interests foremost within the operation of the law, practising competently, promptly, conscientiously, courteously, honestly and objectively with clients’ affairs. We will at all times operate in an ethical manner, and must avoid any action that may compromise our independence and the dignity and good-standing of ourselves and the patent and trade mark professions as a whole.
Statement of Policy
Our policy is to assess and address the risks and violations of anti-human trafficking and anti-modern slavery laws. We adopt procedures that contribute to ensuring modern slavery does not occur in our business or supply chains and we expect organisations with whom we do business to adopt and enforce policies to comply with the legislation.
This policy, combined with our policies on Anti-Bribery, Equal Opportunities, and Sustainability, Ethics and the Environment reflect our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships.
1. Managing Risk
Employment. We have robust recruitment processes in line with UK employment laws, including ‘Right to Work’ document checks, contracts of employment and checks to ensure that everyone employed is aged 16 or above. Our pay and rewards are assessed against market levels determined by independent survey, and are reviewed at least annually.
Supply chain. We recognise that our firm is exposed to risk when dealing with suppliers, particularly those based in other territories. 100% of our suppliers from territories outside the UK are professional services businesses like ourselves, regulated in their home market. We believe that this reduces the risk of slavery existing within our supply chain to an insignificant level.
This statement on modern slavery is included within our policies that are available on our website. It is thus available to be viewed by our staff, our clients and our suppliers.
As part of our induction process, our staff are required to familiarise themselves with our policies on ethics and associated procedures, and under their contract of employment to abide by them in the course of their duties.
This statement is made in the light of the requirements of Section 54(1) Modern Slavery Act 2015, although the company is not required by statute to make any such statement. This statement will be subject to periodic review and the Company reserves the right to amend this statement without prior notice.