Dignity, conscience, independence, integrity and humanity: such are the principles of our oaths as lawyers, of precious help when designing a corporate social responsibility policy that stands at the very heart of our corporate strategy.
Xavier de Kergommeaux, Senior Partner
Gide, a responsible firm
We believe that corporate social and environmental responsibility plays a major role in raising awareness of various issues, including social equity, economic efficiency and environmental protection. By making these issues part of our strategy and by fostering related actions on a daily basis, we actively defend the essential values of quality, social commitment, respect for the environment and the search for excellence.
To find out more about our CSR projects, please click below to view our 2018-2019 CSR report:
In 2015 and 2016, our CSR policy was assessed by Ecovadis and placed in the “Silver” band, i.e. among the top 35% of the 21,000 companies reviewed by the specialist body.
Download our Corporate Social Responsibility Charter
Acting for the environment
We are committed to reducing the energy consumption of our buildings (down 30% these past five years) and to reducing our consumption of disposable products. We also work with responsible suppliers, and strive to preserve natural resources.
In early 2015, we put in place paper and cardboard recycling points in our Paris offices and have since recycled over 129T of paper and cardboard. The same year, we replaced our plastic capsule coffee machines with bean-to-cup coffee machines, which generate ground coffee waste that is recovered and recycled by our service provider.
Committing to HR
We commit every day to developing Gide as a community: we put our lawyers and employees first, recruiting and building up their loyalty over the long term; we have developed a demanding training policy for our associates and employees; we invest in gender balance, encourage internal mobility, and promote ethical excellence.
Developing our Pro Bono programme
We launched our Pro Bono policy in 2012. Ever since then, an increasing number of Gide members have joined in, with 1,250 Pro Bono hours registered in 2014, 1,500 in 2015 and 1,700 in 2016! For its part, 2017 seems set to record the highest number of pro bono hours completed by our lawyers and staff members since the launch of the policy.
Our programme is governed by a Pro Bono Commission (chaired by Carole Malinvaud, comprising Baudouin de Moucheron, Stéphane Puel, Ann Baker, Jean-Nicolas Clément, Julien David, Xavier de Kergommeaux, Antoine Lelong, Arnaud Michel, Guillaume Navarro, Christian Nouel, Bertrand Oldra, and Hugues Scalbert), and is broken down into two types of sponsorship: financial sponsorship and skills sponsorship.
In 2012, we set up an endowment fund, Gide Pro Bono, which receives €250,000 every year from all Gide partners. The funds are used to support specific projects that necessarily meet one of the following three driving themes, as stipulated in the endowment fund's articles of association:
- Access to law and justice
- Access to education
- Solidarity with those most in need
In 2017, the Pro Bono Commission chose to support financially the following projects:
- Apprentis d'Auteuil: for the second consecutive year, we are supporting 40 secondary school pupils in one of the charity’s boarding schools (Internat éducatif et scolaire) in Meudon, a suburb to the south west of Paris. The school welcomes pupils with social or learning difficulties, and uses their strengths as basis to help them progress. To highlight the work of the charity, in 2016 Gide and Apprentis d’Auteuil came together to organise a charity football tournament with teams drawn from the other sponsors and from the football groups of the charity.
- ATD Quart Monde: we are supporting the pilot project entitled "Droit à l'Emploi", which aims to offer a real right to employment and follows on from two other programmes implemented by the NGO ("Travailler et Apprendre Ensemble (Working and Learning Together)", and "Territoires zéro chômeur de longue durée (Unemployment-Free Zones)", both of which were previously supported by Gide Pro Bono.
- Frateli: contribution to financing the mentoring activities carried out by our lawyers and employees. Frateli develops and supervises the mentoring by professionals of students from a modest background who have high potential, via one-on-one tutoring, cultural events, coaching workshops etc.
- Habitat et Humanisme: programme supporting women experiencing hardship and living within the NGO’s housing in the Paris region. In 2017, during the Juris’Run near Paris, members of our firm raised €2,000 in support of Habitat & Humanisme projects in the Paris area.
- Plan International France: following the conclusion of the mother and child health programme in Togo that we supported from start to finish, Gide Pro Bono has decided to support a project offering professional training of young migrants in Beijing. Our local office has also been in touch with the Plan International China to offer its support in preparing and delivering training workshops on employment law.
- Proxité: development of this mentoring charity throughout France. It acts in popular neighbourhoods for the professional and educational integration of disadvantaged youths, via one-on-one mentoring with volunteers drawn from the working population.
- Sport dans la Ville: following a few years offering skills support to this charity working for educational and professional integration through sports, Gide Pro Bono has decided to financially support its Job dans la Ville programme for the employment of young graduates or apprentices
Alongside the funding allocated to various specific projects, our skills sponsorship system enables each member of our firm to allocate up to 40 hours per year on his or her working time to support a project or charity approved by Gide’s Pro Bono Commission. The processing of any member’s hours worked is identical, regardless of whether these hours were for a client file or a Pro Bono project.
These past few years, we have chosen to offer our skills in support of the following charities and projects:
- The Alliance of Lawyers for Human Rights (AADH): an NGO set up in 2009 that coordinates neutral, free and confidential legal support to various organisations, charities and institutions dedicated to the protection of human and environmental rights.
- "Barreau de Paris Solidarité" bus: an initiative designed and implemented by the Paris Bar’s solidarity branch, the City of Paris and NGO Droits d’Urgence. Since 2003, volunteer lawyers offer free legal advice to users on all types of issues inside a bus that parks alternately at five of Paris’ gates.
- Clic Sargent: this is the UK's leading cancer charity for children and young people. It provides clinical, practical and emotional support to children and young people with cancer, and their families. Our London lawyers have been offering legal assistance to this charity since 2015.
- Frateli: as well as providing financial support to this organisation, a dozen of our lawyers and employees are registered as mentors. Every year, we also organise sessions specifically for Frateli students interested in the legal profession, in which we invite mentors from various legal backgrounds to talk about their career.
- Free Representation Unit: this UK charity has been providing representation in social security and employment tribunals since 1972, helping people who are not eligible for legal aid and who cannot afford lawyers. Our London lawyers have been providing assistance on various cases since 2015.
- Habitat et Humanisme: as well as providing financial support to this NGO, our lawyers are working alongside its legal department to set up a new property development tool that will feed into the organisation’s property pool and thus enable it to carry out diversified city centre accommodation operations.
- InitiaDroit: this NGO organises for volunteer lawyers to discuss case studies with classes of 11-18-year-olds on a list of topics in line with the national curriculum. The end objective is to raise the awareness of pupils on the importance of the law and their status as a citizen in a variety of everyday situations.
- Plan International France: our lawyers act for the charity on one-off issues, most recently a study of the NGO’s status in France. The final recommendation was to change its status to a Fondation Reconnue d’Utilité Publique, with full drafting and filing support from our teams.
- Proxité: as well as providing financial support to this charity, some of our lawyers and employees are registered as mentors. In 2015, we organised a visit to the Paris Courthouse (Palais de Justice) for some twenty pupils, and have organised several sessions about legal careers for those interested in the legal profession.
- Sport dans la Ville: a main NGO in France working for social integration via sports, and whose programmes enable the social and professional integration of the 4,500 young men and women registered in their 31 sports centres. We were contacted more particularly by the charity in the context of the organisation, along with its partner streetfootballworld, of an international solidarity football tournament between 80 delegations of young people from around the world, and which is to be held in Lyon during the Euro 2016 playoffs.
- TrustLaw: in 2016, Gide adhered to the Trustlaw platform for France. The platform is part of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, and acts as a link between registered law firms with pro bono policies and NGOs requiring legal assistance. Through it, we have worked with a few charities requiring legal aid mainly in France.
Lastly, we offer occasional free legal consultations on a variety of topics to a number of charities, either directly or via platforms such as TrustLaw and AADH.
As lawyers, we have both a commitment and a moral obligation to do Pro Bono work; we have the ability to help people in a significant and lasting manner.
Baudouin de Moucheron, Partner