1 Corporate Social Responsibility Sustainable development Contents The year gone by 3 Bech-Bruun focus areas 4 People 6 Targeted focus on the individual career path 7 Development programme for law students 8 Society 10 At the forefront of the future 11 CSR partnership with sustainable start-up 12 Pro bono work 14 Environment 16 Best canteen in Denmark 17 Ethics and Compliance 18 New whistleblower scheme 19 3 The year gone by 2017 was not merely an exciting year in which we came off to a good start with our unique collaboration model, the Bech-Bruun model. It was also a year centred on high professional and individual development. Our employees remain one of Bech-Bruun’s permanent focus areas. We strive to offer our clients the best legal counselling, which of course demands that we have the best employees. As such, we keep a keen eye on development, and we continuously ensure that our employees are offered the right career paths. In 2017 we developed and introduced new appraisal interviews with our senior associates, with an intensified focus on individual career development. We also developed a new Bech-Bruun career path for highly experienced lawyers and a development programme for Bech-Bruun’s law students, concentrating on well-being. As one of Denmark’s leading law firms it is crucial that we are at the forefront – in the area of law but also with regard to current trends. To be able to offer our clients the best legal counselling, we use substantial resources on following the developments in their industries, and not least on sharing this knowledge. Besides the fact that our Bech-Bruun Academy in 2017 continued to offer ongoing development and training programmes to our employees, clients and business partners, 2017 was also the year when we opened up for a conference on future transportation, inviting all interested parties to join in the exchange of ideas and collaboration. Pro bono work also remains a natural part of our business. 2017 saw a range of solid pro bono relationships with established enterprises as well as with newly founded businesses. As an example, we entered into a working relationship with the sustainable start-up company Entrée, where we, in addition to being a close legal business partner, also advise the new enterprise about business strategies and development opportunities. 2017 was also the year when it was established once and for all that Bech-Bruun has the best canteen in Denmark. An award granted by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council with intense focus on health quality, ecology, animal welfare and environment. Ethics and compliance remained some of our focal points. In 2017, as a result of the new Danish Money Laundering Act, we implemented a new whistleblower scheme, facilitating the reporting of issues or conduct in violation of the Act. Our adoption of advokatKODEKS, the new code of conduct of the Association of Danish Law Firms (Danske Advokater), means that we continuously work with the five principles of advokatKODEKS: openness, social responsibility, handling of ethical dilemmas, focus on clients and employees, and diversity. For the ninth year running, we confirm our commitment to the UN Global Compact and its 10 principles with our focus areas: People, Society, Environment and Ethics & Compliance. Enjoy the read. Michael Honoré CSR partner Simon Evers Kalsmose-Hjelmborg Managing partner People Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We want to ensure that our employees achieve the best possible skills and expertise under optimal conditions. • We want to support the right career choices and ensure diversity across Bech-Bruun’s organisation. Society Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We will take corporate responsibility by way of training and knowledge sharing. • We will apply our core competencies to making a difference. Bech-Bruun focus areas 4 5 Environment Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We will minimise our resource consumption and optimise sustainable business procedures. • We will use green suppliers. Ethics & Compliance Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We will maintain high ethical standards among ourselves as well as our clients. • We will ensure openness within the framework of the duty of confidentiality that is the foundation of our client relationships. • We will be the Danish law firm with the highest IT security standards. People We strive to offer our clients the best legal counselling, which of course demands that we have the best employees. Employee well-being is a top priority for Bech-Bruun, and we make a determined effort to establish the best conditions for development, training and a good working environment for our employees. In 2017 we offered more than 230 in-house courses in continuing professional development (CPD) across all staff groups. Moreover, we have kept focus on creating diversity in the firm by implementing a new career path. Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We want to ensure that our employees achieve the best possible skills and expertise under optimal conditions. • We want to support the right career choices and ensure diversity across Bech-Bruun’s organisation. Our 2018-2019 targets: • Launch of a development programme for our associates, designed to lift their individual strategic, value-adding and advisory skills to a new level. • Launch of a development programme for our junior associates, designed to fortify their skills as future lawyers. • Conducting an extended mandatory development programme for all our law students. 232 CPD* courses were held at Bech-Bruun in 2017 97% of our employees and partners declare themselves satisfied or very satisfied with working at Bech-Bruun (WPA survey) 79% of the courses covered the development of professional skills 21% of the courses covered the development of personal skills *Continuing professional development 6 7 Targeted focus on the individual career path An even clearer alignment of expectations, a keener eye on feedback, and a more distinct declaration of where and in which direction the individual wants to take their career at Bech-Bruun are all significant focus areas in a new concept for appraisal interviews for our senior associates, rolled out in 2017. The object is to offer our senior associates more focus on their individual development and career plans. “Our new appraisal interview concept hinges on a more systematic evaluation of our employees, allowing us to reveal their expectations and wishes. There is a vast difference from one person to the next in how they express their expectations to, for instance, development,” says Anne-Marie Sparre Avnsted, Head of HR and Administration at Bech-Bruun. A new career path The conventional career structure of the legal industry has often been hard pressed to offer attractive career paths to highly experienced lawyers. Several criteria must be met to become a law firm partner, and not everyone is interested in making partner and what this career may involve. Consequently, at the turn of the year we opened up for an entirely new career path and welcomed Bech-Bruun’s very first managing associates. “In order for us to retain and make better use of some of our highly experienced senior associates, we have spent a lot of time and resources rethinking our career structure and creating a new attractive path that offers more responsibility, strategic influence and management,” says Christian Ejvin Andersen, managing director at Bech-Bruun. The object of this new job category is to allow managing associates to take part in the managerial tasks in general; that is, to be responsible for general in-house project management and to be in charge of large assignments as well as to contribute substantial professional expertise to the performance of such tasks and assignments. We know that diversity adds considerable value. Consequently, we continuously strive to create diversity and equip our employees with the best tools for success, professionally as well as personally. In 2017, one of our approaches to this was a new concept for appraisal interviews for our senior associates, and at the turn of the year we opened up for a completely new career path in Bech-Bruun. Our new appraisal interview concept hinges on a more systematic evaluation of our employees, allowing us to reveal their expectations and wishes. There is a vast difference from one person to the next in how they express their expectations to, for instance, development. ” Anne-Marie Sparre Avnsted, Head of HR and Administration 8 “My problem was getting started on my studies when I got up in the morning. I spent hours doing all kinds of other things. Thomas helped me set up a schedule for every day, recording what I actually did during those hours. This way I could see how much time I spent on other things, and it made me aware of what I actually spent my time on. It generally helped me use my calendar in a more productive way. It may not sound like much, but it helped me being more realistic as to what I actually decide to get done,” says Valdemar Torp-Pedersen, student of law at Bech-Bruun. Our development programme was a huge success, and in 2018 we expand the programme with an added course designed to centre on the participants’ self-insight and mental performance. The students will gain realistic views of themselves and become aware of their behaviour, strengths, weaknesses and patterns. Development programme for law students Over the past two years we have conducted surveys among Danish law students about their academic life and well-being. The last survey was conducted in the spring of 2017 and is based on 218 replies from law students at BA and MA level. Both surveys clearly indicate that many students place very high demands on themselves and have high expectations to their performances. The surveys also show that more than half of the questioned students have had stress symptoms, and it is worrying that a stress symptom such as anxiety is on the up. A whole person At Bech-Bruun our employees’ wellbeing is a high priority, and we consider it part of our responsibility that our employees feel well. In 2016 we entered a working relationship with the stress clinic SPINE to help law students to a healthier student life, and in 2017 we decided to extend the collaboration and launched a mandatory development programme for all Bech-Bruun law students. “It is a fact that the competitive environment among law students has changed enormously in recent years. We want to help break the circle that creates stress among the students – based on social responsibility, but also because we at Bech-Bruun will get better employees if they complete their studies as whole persons,” says Anne-Marie Sparre Avnsted, Head of HR and Administration at Bech-Bruun. Development programme contents During the course of the mandatory development programme in 2017, Bech-Bruun’s law students have completed various workshops and interviews centred on their well-being and work methods. The object of the programme was to provide them with tools they could use in their studies as well as in their work life. Mental coach and stress counsellor Thomas Pape gave the students lessons in achieving mental robustness, which simply means learning how to handle everyday challenges, big or small. Many law students feel pressured to achieve top grades and have high expectations to themselves for a top-level performance. In many ways, this impairs their well-being. In 2017 Bech-Bruun developed a mandatory development programme for our law students to help them to a healthy academic life. It is a fact that the competitive environment among law students has changed enormously in recent years. We want to help break the circle that creates stress among the students. ” Marie Sparre Avnsted, Head of HR and Administration Employee composition Diversity Partners Associates Junior associates Owners: 55 Salaried partners: 14 Associates: 107 Junior associates: 95 Case handlers: 68 Students: 53 Other employees: 130 Total number of employees: 522 7 women 45 women 40 women 62 men 62 men 55 men 522 All figures as at 31 December 2017 11 employees were seconded at some time during 2017 7.8 years is the average seniority at Bech-Bruun 9 Development was a focal point in Bech-Bruun in 2017. In order to be able to offer our clients the best advisory services, we invest many resources in following developments in their industries, optimising our services to support their business targets in the best way possible. Knowledge sharing is an important part of our business model, and in 2017 we worked towards this with a vast range of free courses, events and late-afternoon seminars, thus contributing to societal development. The basic idea of our CSR activities is to apply our core competencies to making a difference, which is why we have entered numerous pro bono and business relationship agreements with enterprises that make a difference. Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We will take corporate responsibility by way of training and knowledge sharing. • We will apply our core competencies to making a difference. Our 2018-2019 targets: • Supporting initiatives that focus on sustainability. • Developing our training courses so that they continue to accommodate the requirements of our employees, clients and business partners. Society 4.6 in course satisfaction on a scale of 1-5 65 free courses, late-afternoon seminars and full-day events offered by Bech-Bruun Academy in 2017 3,753 persons attended Bech-Bruun Academy’s free courses in 2017 10 11 As one of Denmark’s leading law firms, it is crucial that we are at the forefront – within legal developments, but also with regard to current trends in our clients’ industries. By sharing knowledge with clients and interested parties we establish relations and contribute to societal development. In 2017 one of the efforts of Bech-Bruun Academy was an open conference on future transportation, allowing interested parties from the business sector to test drive a driverless bus, hear about political visions from Ole Birk Olesen, Danish Minister of Transportation, Construction and Housing, and of course be updated on the latest legislation in the area. “For many years Bech-Bruun has specialised in the areas of infrastructure and transportation. In our opinion, we are currently seeing some important steps being taken, which will not only change transportation patterns but also create new opportunities for growth in our society. We want to support this development,” says Christian Ejvin Andersen, managing director at Bech-Bruun. At the conference, the industries that are and will be part of the driverless development had the opportunity to meet and exchange views and experiences. The object was to invite exchange of ideas and collaboration, as we believe this is crucial to finding the optimum solutions that will bring Denmark quickly and safely into the future. We share our knowledge As a knowledge-based enterprise, training and development are important elements, and we are happy to share our knowledge. In 2017 more than 3,750 people attended Bech-Bruun Academy’s free courses, over 250 more than the previous year. Bech-Bruun Academy also offers continuous development and training courses to employees as well as clients and business partners. This allows us as well as the attendees the opportunity to keep a vigilant eye on new legislation, business sector developments, and to keep ahead at a time when everything is moving very fast. At the forefront of the future With Bech-Bruun Academy we make an immense effort to acquire new knowledge and pass it on to clients and other interested parties. In 2017 we concentrated on welcoming the future, for instance by holding a conference on future transportation. Academy Client Academy Client is free training, offered to and customised for our clients, again focusing on future opportunities and challenges. With Academy Client we concentrate on the knowledge and expertise that is demanded from future employees. In 2017 we offered training in strategic trendspotting with Liselotte Lyngsø, futurologist, and training in how to support innovation in the workplace through management. One project that is very close to our hearts is to help non-ethnic Danes into Danish kitchens. The law aspect is of course important, but it is not our area of expertise. Our partnership with Bech-Bruun means that we can take off – and with the right legal foundation. ” Jakob Gaard Nielsen, co-founder of Entrée 12 CSR partnership with sustainable start-up The start-up enterprise Entrée is not just another restaurant. In addition to offering tasty food through catering and events in Frederiksberg’s iconic Hermes Halls, they are also a job academy for non-ethnic Danes. In 2017, Bech-Bruun entered a close pro bono-relationship with Entrée, assisting the enterprise with legal counselling and business feedback in a number of areas. The restaurant business is one of the most successful in Denmark, but according to the start-up enterprise Entrée, one issue in particular challenges the industry’s continued success: the lack of qualified labour – particularly kitchen staff. Meanwhile, a steadily increasing number of refugees and migrants come to our country in the hope of a better life. Entrée has decided to combine these two needs and find a solution. In their Frederiksberg kitchen they have established a job academy for non-ethnic Danes, training them in the Danish restaurant industry and Danish professional and cultural culinary skills – with a view to being employed in the industry when the training is completed. Sustainability at the core In 2017, Bech-Bruun entered a business relationship with Entrée to assist the enterprise by rendering advice during the start-up stage. The advice spans widely across all aspects of commercial law, including corporate law, labour law, tax law, data protection law, etc. “As a start-up enterprise there is so much to keep in mind, from labour law to corporate law. It means a lot to have the legal assistance you need. We just really want to get off to a good start. One project that is very close to our hearts is to help non-ethnic Danes into Danish kitchens. The law aspect is of course important, but it is not our area of expertise. Our partnership with Bech-Bruun means that we can take off – and with the right legal foundation,” says Jakob Gaard Nielsen, co-founder of Entrée. The common incentive for the relationship was value-adding advisory services and sustainability – assisting a visionary enterprise in taking off with the proper legal and business advice. Besides being a close legal partner, the advisory services also include commercial sparring and advice in relation to business concept, development opportunities, etc. As such, Bech-Bruun was awarded a seat on Entrée’s Advisory Board. “Our partnership with Bech-Bruun sends a strong signal to the world – and not least to possible investors – that we are a serious and trustworthy business with a strong legal foundation. We are truly grateful for the support we have received from Bech-Bruun since the very early stages of our enterprise. They have not just been our legal advisors, they provide important business feedback, for instance by challenging our ideas, visions and strategies,” says Jakob. 13 14 The Danish Association for Responsible Construction (Foreningen for Byggeriets Samfundsansvar) The Danish Association for Responsible Construction works to make sustainable solutions, decent workplace conditions, training opportunities and business (good governance) the foundation of healthy competition throughout the property, building and construction industries. In 2017, we assisted on the updating and presentation of legal templates designed to make it easier for enterprises in these industries to include sustainable solutions as early as in the tender process. Hellebro Hellebro takes in young homeless people in Copenhagen, let them have a bath, a cup of coffee and a meal. Dedicated volunteers arrange activities, and the young people are offered help and advice with their economy, finding a home, going (back) to school or getting a job. In 2017, Bech-Bruun assisted Hellebro in a large specific case. Copenhagen Legal Aid Many of our employees regularly volunteer at the Copenhagen Legal Aid, Denmark’s largest and oldest legal aid organisation. Here, they render advice on anything from leases, employment relationships and custodial care to compensation and insurance issues. Further, in 2017 Bech-Bruun made its course facilities, including refreshments, available to the Copenhagen Legal Aid so that the organisation could conduct a course on immigration law. Social Foodies Social Foodies manufactures and sells ice-cream and chocolate, but in addition to providing consumers with delicious goods, social responsibility is at the top of the chain’s agenda. Social Foodies’s profits are invested in the production of raw materials in Africa, educating small farmers Pro bono work Pro bono work is a natural part of our business, as we believe we can help the most by doing what we do best. As such, every year we offer our legal expertise free of charge to organisations that work for a better world – locally as well as globally. These are some of the organisations that received our advisory services free of charge in 2017. 15 and creating jobs in the local areas. Bech-Bruun rendered pro bono assistance to the organisation in 2017. Red Cross The Red Cross helps the world’s neediest, and for many years Bech-Bruun has been in a close working relationship with the Red Cross, regularly providing pro bono legal advice. In 2017, we assisted the Red Cross on cases concerning abuse of the organisation’s name and logo, working relationship agreements, and transportation of second-hand clothes, etc. Missionaries of Charity Every Christmas our canteen prepares several Christmas meals for the Missionaries of Charity, an order of nuns founded by Mother Teresa. Together with the order we see that the meals bring holiday joy to socially challenged Copenhageners. The Mary Foundation We provide legal support and advisory services for the Mary Foundation, established in 2007 by HRH Crown Princess Mary. The Foundation’s mission is to combat social isolation – based on the belief that everyone has a right to belong. Bech-Bruun is standing counsel to the Mary Foundation, and all our work for the Foundation is pro bono. Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch is a non-profit global organisation defending human rights across the world. We provide pro bono legal advice to the organisation and have, among other things, assisted on foundation and labour law issues. Dansk Søredningsselskab Dansk Søredningsselskab (DSRS) is a non-profit association helping yachters and boat owners in non-life threatening situations at sea and assisting official emergency groups. Bech-Bruun supports the association’s work by providing pro bono legal assistance and has in 2017 assisted with articles of association, tax and donation policies, foundation petitions and general salvage law issues. For many years a partner at Bech-Bruun has been a member of the board of directors. Reach for Change Reach for Change is a non-profit organisation with an ambition to improve the lives of children and young people. They pursue this cause by supporting social entrepreneurs with the same target. By offering social entrepreneurs their advisory services and the possibility of financial support, they can turn their ideas into sustainable enterprises that can grow and create a positive difference in the lives of children and young people. Bech-Bruun has had a working relationship with Reach for Change for several years, and in 2017 we assisted the organisation free of charge on articles of association, drafting of a royalty agreement, various foundation issues, etc. *Owing to discontinued archive, equal to 17.8 metric tons. As a modern law firm, it is important for Bech-Bruun to keep abreast of the latest developments in new energy and environmentally sound solutions benefiting the environment as well as our own business and our clients. We continuously strive to reduce and re-think our consumption and thus improve our resource efficiency. We attach importance to sustainable procurement and to choosing environmentally sound alternatives. Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We will minimise our resource consumption and optimise sustainable business procedures. • We will use green suppliers. Our 2018-2019 targets: • To replace – on an ongoing basis – electronic equipment, light-bulbs, etc., with energy-saving alternatives. • To cover even more kilometres on our bikes when we join the “We cycle to work” campaign for the 11th time. Environment 21% reduction in paper consumption on 2015 22,663 kilometres reached by bike in 2017 when we joined the annual Danish campaign “We cycle to work” 59% organic food in our kitchen 2015 2016 2017 Electricity (kWh) 907,464 985,454 951,300 Heating (mWh) 1,068 1,193 1,052 Water (m3 ) 3,846 4,169 3,853 Combustible waste (t) 76.60 69.62 38.76 Recyclable material (t) 56.51* 22.72 25.55 16 17 Delicious salads, homemade pasta, organic meat dishes and fresh tartare are merely examples from a day’s menu in Bech-Bruun’s canteen. No wonder the offices at our Copenhagen premises are empty come 11.30, as this is when lunch begins and employees flock to the canteen to enjoy a good meal together. “It is important to us that people smile when they show up for lunch here. When I was a child, the highlight of the week was our Sunday family dinner. If we can pass on that joy of coming together for a meal to our guests in the canteen, then I know we did a good job,” says Giovanni Fico, head chef at Bech-Bruun. This appreciation of enjoying a meal in the canteen was one of the factors that won Bech-Bruun the Danish Agriculture and Food Council’s Canteen Award 2017. The canteen award is a recognition of the canteens in Denmark that enthusiastically, professionally and innovatively serve meals that centre on quality and tastiness – every day. The award is granted by a jury comprised by people in the trade, who make unannounced visits to nominated canteens to find the annual winner. In addition to the culinary and health qualities of the food, the jury prioritises that the canteens focus on seasonal raw materials and a sustainable mind-set. Organic principles, animal welfare and environment on the agenda For Giovanni, the well-being of his canteen guests is not the only priority. Organic principles, animal welfare and the environment are also high on the agenda, and in 2017 we intensified our focus on these three areas. Almost 60% of the food is organic, and seasonal raw materials are increasingly bought from local areas and selected suppliers who also prioritise organic principles, animal welfare and the environment. “In 2017 we introduced a new initiative that we call “More greens, less meat”. This is healthier for our guests and for the environment. We still serve meat every day, but only from suppliers we work closely with, so we are sure the animals were treated well,” says Giovanni. At Bech-Bruun, our ambition is to choose green suppliers, and our canteen plays an important part. This benefits our employees and our environment. We have Denmark’s best canteen. That was established once and for all in September when Bech-Bruun’s canteen in Copenhagen won the Canteen Award 2017, granted by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. The award centres highly on health quality, ecology, animal welfare and environment. Best canteen in Denmark It is important to us that people smile when they show up for lunch here. When I was a child, the highlight of the week was our Sunday family dinner. If we can pass on that joy of coming together for a meal to our guests in the canteen, then I know we did a good job. ” Giovanni Fico, head chef at Bech-Bruun As a law firm, we carry a considerable ethical responsibility. Consequently, our work and business methods are based on good conduct and respect for our clients, our employees and our surroundings. Responsible business conduct is a basic element in the way we do business, and it forms the basis of what our clients and business partners can expect from us. On the basis of the Code of Conduct for the Danish Bar and Law Society and our own Code of Conduct, we have created a sound corporate governance system. Bech-Bruun’s objectives • We will maintain high ethical standards among ourselves as well as our clients. • We will ensure openness within the framework of the duty of confidentiality that is the foundation of our client relationships. • We will be the Danish law firm with the highest IT security standards. Our 2018-2019 targets: • Continue to set high ethical standards, internally as well as in relation to the rest of the industry. • Continuous improvement of our IT security. Ethics and Compliance 18 19 New whistleblower scheme In recent years, profits from organised crime have grown. Operating a criminal organisation, such as a terrorist organisation, is impossible without money, and the new Money Laundering Act, effective as from 26 June 2017, introduced a range of tightened requirements. The Act is to ensure that Denmark contributes actively to the international fight against money laundering and funding of terrorism. Even though the focus on organised crime was intensified and the law has been repeatedly tightened since the first provisions were introduced in 1989, the problem has grown. Anyone dealing with money and services should in one way or another deal with this threat scenario, and Bech-Bruun does. In 2017 we implemented various adjustments to our previous procedures in this area. For one thing, we established a new whistleblower scheme. This is to ensure that issues or conduct concerning violation of the Act by our employees or members of the management board or the board of directors can easily and safely be reported via a special, independent channel. In addition to stricter in-house procedures, the Act requires new and different handling of various issues in connection with client knowledge. “We are more interested in the individual transaction. We must be able to document that we have investigated issues that caught our attention, and that we have received satisfactory information,” says Lars Lindencrone Petersen, Knowledge Management partner at Bech-Bruun. Bech-Bruun continuously works constructively to make these in-house procedures even more effective and secure, so that we may continue to fight money laundering and the funding of terrorism. In 2017, as a result of the new Danish Money Laundering Act, Bech-Bruun implemented a new whistleblower scheme, facilitating the reporting of issues or conduct in violation of the Act. Copenhagen Denmark Aarhus Denmark Shanghai China T +45 72 27 00 00 www.bechbruun.com