Top law firm introduces $200 levy for lawyers who fly to meetings, as part of efforts to slash its carbon footprint, reports say

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Breaches of the policy will be recorded, according to reports.

  • Shoosmiths, a large UK law firm, has imposed a £200 levy for lawyers who fly to business meetings.
  • Lawyers won’t have to pay out of their own pocket but policy breaches will be recorded, per The Times.
  • The money from the levies will be placed in a designated environmental fund, the report added. 

In an effort to cut its carbon footprint, UK law firm Shoosmiths has introduced a £200, or $226, levy for lawyers who travel to meetings by plane, according to the Times, which reported the story.

The Times reported that the lawyers won’t have to pay the penalty directly out of their own pockets. Instead, money will be taken from the company’s travel and practice budget. Breaches of the policy will be recorded, the report added.

The funds will be directed to a designated environmental fund that will help support the firm’s target of achieving net zero emissions by 2025, per the Times.

The firm has also introduced positive incentives against unnecessary travel. Shoosmiths’ new bonus scheme includes a target to reduce travel, a spokesperson told UK legal website Legal Cheek

The spokesperson added that the policies were not intended to push lawyers to eliminate flying. Rather, the company wanted to “ensure our people stop and think about whether they need to.”

Shoosmiths has offices in 14 locations across the UK, including in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The firm is one of the 50 biggest law firms in the UK.

The company is one of several similar companies that have set ambitious carbon-zero goals, but critics say the legal profession at large isn’t doing enough.

In September, 150 prominent UK lawyers signed an open letter accusing firms of “greenwashing” by advertising sustainable practices while representing fossil fuel companies and major polluters.

Shoosmiths did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for further comment made outside of normal working hours. 

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