Modern Slavery Act

Modern Slavery Act 2015: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

This Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement is made by Bird & Bird LLP (the "firm" or "we") under section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the "Act") for financial year ended 30 April 2022 and was approved and signed on behalf of the Board of Bird & Bird LLP on 21 February 2023.

The Firm’s Commitment

Bird & Bird LLP is committed to legal compliance and ethical business practices in all of our operations worldwide and we choose suppliers and contractors who we believe share that commitment.

Risk Assessment

As a professional services firm regulated in the various jurisdictions in which we operate, we consider that that we are at low risk of modern slavery occurring within our own business. However, we remain alert to the possibility, and having adopted a globally applicable Ethics & Compliance Policy in January 2013 (reviewed and restated in 2019 and 2021), which we continue to uphold and report on, we make clear to all of those working within our business that we have zero tolerance for modern slavery occurring.

Our assessment of the risks suggests that there is a greater risk in our supply chain, which comprises non-regulated businesses and therefore we take further steps to manage those risks depending on the risk profile and nature of the supply arrangement.

Policy on slavery and human trafficking

Our Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Policy reflects our commitment to only use business practices that are legal and ethical and to implement and enforce effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains. We expect our supply chain to adopt the same high standard as we do to prevent modern slavery, by ensuring all employees and workers are treated with dignity and respect in a fair and ethical environment. The Policy, originally adopted in 2016, was reviewed in February 2022.

Supplier Due Diligence

We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. We expect our suppliers to adopt the same principles for their business and when contracting with their own suppliers, and we make this a requirement in our Supplier Code of Conduct. We try to include our Supplier Code of Conduct, or equivalent commitments, in all procurements in the supply chain of our central entity, which is where we have identified the higher risk supply arrangements to occur. We intend to extend this process across our international offices over the coming year. The Supplier Code is supported by our Purchasing Guidelines, which requires compliance in the supply chain with the highest ethical standards.

Bird & Bird LLP has implemented a third-party supplier management tool to allow consistent due diligence on, and management of, suppliers across a range of issues, including Modern Slavery compliance. The scope of due diligence on each supply arrangement is determined by the risk profile and nature of the supply arrangement. The supplier due diligence process was reviewed and updated in 2022. A further review of critical suppliers, our Purchasing Guidelines, purchasing processes and our Supplier Code of Conduct will be carried out during the course of 2023, with any resulting changes to be rolled out firmwide

All London based suppliers pay their staff the London Living Wage, with other offices being encouraged to seek out similar schemes.


To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, we have procured training resources for staff, which is mandated for those with direct contact and responsibility for procurement within the firm. Training is provided to relevant new joiners and regular updates are provided to relevant staff.


We are dedicated and committed to maintaining a fair and ethical workplace for all our staff. We require all members, partners, employees, officers, directors and consultants of the firm, including temporary workers and others who are subject to the direction of the firm, to comply with our Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Policy. Our Whistleblowing Policy, first adopted in 2018 and updated in 2022, upholds our Ethics and Compliance Policy and enables the reporting and resolution of any issues within our business or within our supply chain.

An assessment of Modern Slavery compliance and awareness is and will continue to be, part of our firm wide internal audit process Operational Review.


We will:

  • increase engagement with our international offices to ensure that our approach to managing supply chain risk is implemented consistently across the firm;
  • continue to review our approach to Modern Slavery to evaluate its effectiveness and identify any gaps. This will include a review of suppliers and the risks arising from new offices;
  • make further improvements to our supplier screening process and risk-based assessment of suppliers. This includes rolling out a replacement supplier management tool firmwide;
  • implement a revised Supplier Code of Conduct, that addresses Modern Slavery risks and reflects the commitments made in this statement and Purchasing Guidelines that reflect processes designed to ensure that our supply chain is appropriately risk assessed at each stage in the supply relationship; and
  • expand and embed knowledge of the issues and risks around modern slavery and human trafficking to all appropriate staff across the network of offices via regular communication and targeted training.


Christian Bartsch Signature 2023

Christian Bartsch
Chief Executive Officer
On behalf of the Board
Bird & Bird LLP