The following Section 172(1) statement applies to AG Service Company Limited and is included in the Annual Report and Financial Statements of AG Service Company Limited.

Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 requires a director of a company to act in the way he or she considers, in good faith, would most likely promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole. In doing this section 172 requires a director to have regard, amongst other matters, to the:

  • likely consequences of any decisions in the long-term;
  • interests of the company’s employees;
  • need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others;
  • impact of the company’s operations on the community and environment;
  • desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and
  • need to act fairly as between members of the company.

In discharging our section 172 duties the directors have regard to the stakeholders and factors set out above. The directors also have regard to other factors which are considered relevant to the decision being made. The directors acknowledge that every decision made will not necessarily result in a positive outcome for all of our stakeholders. By considering the company’s purpose, vision and values together with its strategic priorities and having a process in place for decision-making, the directors do, however, aim to make sure that decisions are consistent and predictable

The company operates as a service company for Addleshaw Goddard LLP, which is a premium law firm with international reach, an exceptional breadth of services, and a respected client base spanning industry sectors such as financial services, energy, retail & consumer, transportation, healthcare and real estate.

The company's immediate parent undertaking, Addleshaw Goddard LLP, plays an important role in the governance of the operations of the company, including consideration and approval of key commercial decisions which materially impact the company and its operations.

The Board of Addleshaw Goddard LLP ("the Board") meets monthly and includes three directors of the company. Additionally, a group which comprises senior leadership of Addleshaw Goddard, including all of the directors of the company (the "Executive Team"), meets regularly to discuss and make operational decisions of the company and to consider and implement decisions of the Board. In this forum, feedback from various business areas, with particularly focus on specific stakeholder groups, is reviewed and considered by the Executive Team. The same information is shared by the directors with the Board.

The directors engage management (including the members of Addleshaw Goddard LLP) in setting, approving and overseeing execution of the business strategy and related policies. Financial and operational performance is reviewed by the Executive Team and at the Board meeting of Addleshaw Goddard LLP. The Board of Addleshaw Goddard LLP also review other areas over the course of the financial year including the Group's business strategy; key risks; stakeholder-related matters; diversity and inclusivity; environmental matters; corporate responsibility; employee engagement and attrition; succession planning; and governance, compliance and legal matters. This is done through the consideration and discussion of reports which are sent in advance of each Board meeting and through presentations to the Board.

The directors set out below some examples of how the directors have had regard to the matters set out in section 172(i)(a)-(f) when discharging our section 172 duty and the effect of that on decisions taken by us.

Culture and employee engagement

In order to embed a high performance culture to support the long term success of Addleshaw Goddard we have recently devised and communicated across the organisation an employee value proposition (EVP). Research has shown that organisations with a strong EVP are able increase levels of employee engagement and commitment, decrease employee turnover levels and as a result deliver a stronger financial performance. Our EVP now underpins all of our talent processes including recruitment and on boarding; career and performance management; learning and development; and diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and Inclusion

Addleshaw Goddard recognises the importance of nurturing an inclusive culture to help us attract, retain and enable our people to be the best we can be. We understand that diverse firms are more attractive to potential and existing employees and that culturally diverse teams are more innovative and agile. Cultural diversity is a key measure of our success and we commit to reporting progress to the Board on a biannual basis. The Board has recently approved a new structure, designed to increase greater strategic and operational support for the AG Inclusion Programme, and enable a closer alignment to the ambitions of our CSR Programme.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Addleshaw Goddard strives to uphold the highest standards in everything we do and have a strong belief that in order to achieve this aim, we need to consider the way that we conduct ourselves and our business. Our CSR strategy is framed around our ultimate objective of Unlocking Young Potential.

We aim to make an active contribution to our communities through supporting young people to reach their full potential through our three CSR pillars: Access to Education, Access to the Profession and Access to Work. We implement our CSR strategy through our community work, charity work and our pro bono programme. All of this is underpinned by a wider commitment and investment from the firm through the AG Charitable Trust and our environmental policies and initiatives.

Environment and Sustainability

Addleshaw Goddard's commitment is to reduce and where possible, eliminate our environmental impact. We formally identify, manage and track our environmental impact via an Environmental Management System (EMS), implemented in accordance with the internationally recognised ISO 14001:2015 standard. We have substantially reduced our carbon tonnage per employee, and reduced our paper and disposable cup usage. We want to go even further by working towards achieving a Carbon Neutral Accreditation by 2024, working with suppliers to reduce their and our carbon footprint and ceasing, wherever possible, the use of plastics.

Tax Strategy

Addleshaw Goddard publishes its Tax Strategy as required by section 161 and paragraph 16(2) of Schedule 19 of Finance Act 2016. The Tax Strategy is applicable to the business activities of Addleshaw Goddard LLP and its affiliated undertakings as UK taxation relates to them. The Tax Strategy covers our focus on tax compliance and reporting, and our approach to tax governance and tax risk management in relation to UK taxation.

Health and safety

The company and the entire Addleshaw Goddard group aim to provide a safe, accident-free and healthy environment characterised by respect and trust for our employees, suppliers and visitors to all sites. Health and safety risks are proactively assessed and opportunities for improvement identified.

Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct

Addleshaw Goddard's Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct, which is publicly available on our website, sets out in detail our expectations with regard to supplier commercial practices. The Supplier Policy requires compliance with legislation, codes of conduct, professional regulation and best practice appropriate to the supplier's business. The policy includes obligations on suppliers to enable Addleshaw Goddard to comply with its obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and to help Addleshaw Goddard achieve its own commitments with regard to Modern Slavery. Additionally Addleshaw Goddard is committed to business with integrity, and both prospective and current suppliers must be aware of and adhere to our requirements in this regard. Our business with integrity statement is publicly available on our website.

Information Security

Addleshaw Goddard has a systematic approach to managing confidential information so that it remains secure. We have an information security management system which applies a risk management approach to people, processes and IT systems. Addleshaw Goddard has been certified to ISO 27001:2013 since 2014.