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Modern Slavery Statement

Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement 2023

DWF is a leading global provider of integrated legal and business services. 

Employing over 4000 colleagues globally we have offices and associations in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia enabling us to deliver our services through our three offerings; Legal Services, Business Services and Legal Operations. Our work spans across eight key sectors – Built Environment, Consumer, Energy & Natural Resources, Financial Services, Government & Public Sector, Insurance, Technology, Media & Communications and Transport.

This Statement outlines our approach and the steps we have taken in the last twelve months to combat the risk of human trafficking, child and forced labour taking place within either our business or our supply chains. 

This is our seventh statement published in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and applies to DWF Group plc, DWF Law LLP and DWF LLP covering the financial year ended 30 April 2023. 

The full statement detailed below can be downloaded here.


In line with our purpose and guided by our values, our approach is to understand how and where modern slavery occurs and to continuously review and improve the policies and processes we have in place to prevent it. This expectation is set out in our Code of Business Conduct and reinforced in our Supplier Code of Conduct.

The global Code of Conduct encourages colleagues to report, through our Speak Up policy, any actions that are unsafe, unethical, unlawful, or not in line with DWF Group policies. In practice, we are:


DWF supports the principles of Human Rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standards.

Our ESG & Sustainability strategy is central to how we operate and ensure we are a responsible business. Our approach and how we manage risks in relation to; human rights, human trafficking, child and forced labour is overseen by our Executive Board with day-to-day management led by our Global Head of ESG & Sustainability and is supported by our ESG Leadership Group, a multi-disciplinary group who has responsibility for our sustainability agenda and reports to the Executive Board quarterly.

We continue to make public commitments and disclose our approach to human rights, human trafficking, child and forced labour. We do this by reporting in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), World Economic Forum Metrics, UN Global Compact Communication on Progress and BITC Responsible Business Tracker. Furthermore, we have been accredited 'Silver' by EcoVadis.


Our Code of Business Conduct set out clear expectations, reinforced through the following policies available to all colleagues. These policies visibly reflect our commitment to responsible business policies and practices that are fair, transparent and inclusive and are those relevant to this statement:

Our employment policies and pre-employment screening processes make sure that all our colleagues has the appropriate rights to work and are employed in accordance with local employment legislation.


In the UK, we are accredited as a Living Wage Employer and we are working on confirming the living wage rate in our international jurisdictions so that we can confidently say that 100% of DWF colleagues globally earn a living wage.

We are committed to maintaining an open culture with the highest standards of honesty and accountability, a culture where colleagues can report any legitimate concerns in confidence via our Speak Up policy.

The Code of Business Conduct reinforces our zero tolerance approach to:

All DWF suppliers must implement a zero tolerance approach to human rights, human trafficking, child and/or forced labour and to comply with all local and national laws and regulations.

Supply chain

Our goal is to build trust and open relationships with our supply chain and work together to develop our approach to responsible sourcing and sustainable procurement. Expectations of suppliers is categorised into six key areas:

If there is a situation where a supplier may fall short within one of more of these areas, the Code requests that we must be notified immediately. We will work with the supplier on the development of an improvement plan. If the issue is serious enough or cannot be resolved in a reasonable period, we may review the provision of goods or services and ultimately discontinue the relationship.

Training and awareness

We continue to enhance our awareness to improve understanding of modern slavery so all our colleagues can support in the fight against it. Our training covers:

Modern Slavery training now forms part of our mandatory learning as part of our Conduct & Ethics module that is applicable to all colleagues and new starters and learning needs revisiting once a year.

Stakeholder engagement

We continue to collaborate with our peers, supply chain, clients and external organisations to improve our approach to understanding the potential risk of modern slavery in our own supply chains and across the industry.

DWF recognises the importance of our stakeholder engagement and we are proud to be a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and Women's Empowerment Principles.

Code of Business Conduct

Our Business Code of Conducts outlines the principles and guidance to ensure our colleagues deliver on our purpose and help sustain a work environment that is open, inclusive and fair for all, keeping integrity at the heart of our culture.

Our Business Code of Conduct is published externally on our website.

Raising concerns

Our Speak Up policy outlines the process to raise a concern about wrongdoing, safe in the knowledge that we address investigations promptly and effectively and will be looked at on a case by case basis. An independent supplier manages our online and phone-based system, enabling colleagues to raise a concern about a genuine suspicion of malpractice or wrongdoing within the DWF Group or with any of our external stakeholders without receiving detrimental treatment including dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern.

Measuring effectiveness

We continue to review and report on the following indicators to assess the effectiveness of our actions:



Zero incidences of Modern Slavery in our operations


Zero incidences of Modern Slavery in our supply chain


Number of colleagues trained in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking 


Incidents of Modern Slavery reported through our Speak Up line


Zero incidences of Modern Slavery in our operations



Additional developments to support our actions in the last 12 months are:

Next steps

To improve on the quality and consistency of our risk assessment and decision-making to lead to more informed supplier acceptance we are introducing a similar approach to our ESG Client Policy and following the same escalation process determined by the associated level of risk. Additionally a revised supplier assurance framework will help us to determine and assess any potential impacts of human rights, human trafficking, child and/or forced labour in our supply chain.

Internal reviews of existing suppliers will be conducted at least quarterly depending on the associated level of risk. New suppliers will follow the ESG Client Policy prior to any agreement to work with the supplier and will follow our escalation process if necessary, to determine whether the supplier is right for our business.

We will also focus on working closer with our suppliers to collaborate on education and training and continue to identify opportunities to deliver positive outcomes with our colleagues, clients and communities.

Sir Nigel Knowles
Group CEO and director of DWF Group plc and designated member of DWF Law LLP and DWF LLP
29 September 2023

The Directors of DWF Group plc approved this statement on 29 September 2023. The Designated Members of DWF Law LLP and DWF LLP approved this statement on 29 September 2023. 

DWF is a collective trading name for DWF Group plc and all of its subsidiaries and subsidiary undertakings (as defined in the UK's Companies Act 2006) including DWF Law LLP, DWF LLP and all incorporated associations without legal personality.

First statement

Download our first Modern Slavery Statement here.

Second statement

Download our second Modern Slavery Statement here

Third statement

Download our third Modern Slavery Statement here

Fourth statement
Download our fourth statement here - Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2019.
Fifth statement
Sixth statement