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Lawyers hit with £200 penalty charge for taking flights to meetings

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Lawyers hit with £200 penalty charge for taking flights to meetings

A law firm is charging employees a £200 penalty fee if they fly to meetings as part of measures to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

Law firm Shoosmiths will take the sum from the company’s communal travel budget to help hit net zero emissions. The money will therefore not come out of individual lawyers’ personal salaries, but Shoosmiths has said that a record will be kept of those who breach the policy.

A Shoosmiths spokesperson told The Independent: “The £200 is a levy that goes into a designated carbon fund that we will use to pursue Shoosmiths’ net zero ambitions – so not to stop flying but to ensure our people stop and think about whether they need to and if they do they make good use of it. Also, our new bonus scheme involves a target to reduce travel – again to help meet the firm’s carbon emissions targets.”

Shoosmiths hires over 1,000 lawyers and has a number of offices in Belfast and London, the Telegraph reports. Its client list features Mercedes-Benz and Travelodge, among others.

The firm announced it had plans to reach net zero by 2025, saying it was “committed to protecting the environment by demonstrating high standards of environmental responsibility in all our operations”.

Senior partners are also being offered extra bonuses for staff who significantly cut down their energy use and contribute to the company’s energy aims.

David Jackson, Shoosmiths’ chief executive, said that the company’s values were at its core, and much of its success comes from “making a positive impact for our clients, each other, and the communities in which we operate”.

He said: “We’re also proud to see our Carbon Net Zero statistics move in the right direction and were thrilled that our science-based emissions reduction targets were validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).”

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