We measure the success of our business not just on our financial performance and the legal services we provide, but also in terms of the social and environmental impact our business has on our community.

We continuously endeavour to develop our workplace for the benefit of our staff; facilitate health and wellness; integrate diversity into all our activities; and create an inclusive environment in which all can fulfil their potential. We also ensure a living wage for all those who work here, including our contract cleaners, and minimise our impact on the environment by operating in an environmentally and socially responsible way from day to day.
We engage in pro bono legal programmes where our lawyers provide legal advice for free or on a discounted basis to charities and those in need; support and engage in our local community; and act as trustees of local and national charities. Furthermore, we promote and participate in fundraising for charities and have a designated charity of the year; and provide legal services according to the highest ethical and professional standards.

SM&B is a socially aware firm and we have always actively encouraged an equal and diverse outlook both to our recruitment and to how we do our work.

- SM&B Philosophy

Equality & Diversity

The results are evident in the ethnic and gender mix at all levels in our firm – we don’t believe in lip service. To us as a firm, it’s the outcome that matters, and the only way to achieve that outcome is by fostering and maintaining a culture where everyone, from whatever background, feels genuinely comfortable in our workplace. We build these concepts and practices into training programmes and we include diversity issues in induction programmes so that all members of staff know about SM&B’s values and policy in this respect.

For more information, please see our result for the SRA Diversity Survey 2019.


Our diversity policy helps us to demonstrate that we do all we can to value difference and to eradicate discrimination.

  • Our policy improves the quality of our workforce and provides a valuable means of obtaining a better return on our investment in human capital. An environment where all employees feel included and valued yields greater commitment and motivation.

  • SM&B attracts the best and the brightest employees to our firm and make sure they stay. A good track record in managing diversity will make us a preferred employer of choice, helping to win the war for talent. Applicants now commonly ask about our diversity programme, and they factor that into their employment decision.

  • The diversity within our team helps employees to understand our clients’ differing needs, and to satisfy their requests in this regard when they ask about our diversity record before instructing us.

  • Diversity leads to creativity and flexibility. Employees from varied backgrounds can bring different perspectives, ideas and solutions and challenge accepted views.

For more than three decades we have been committed to providing free legal representation in death penalty cases.

- DPP Philosophy

The Death Penalty Project

The Death Penalty Project is a legal action charity housed and supported by SM&B. The DPP provides free legal representation to death row prisoners around the world. It uses the law to protect prisoners facing execution and achieve fairer criminal justice systems.

SM&B has a long history of providing pro bono assistance to those who might not otherwise be able to access legal representation and advice.

  • Partners are encouraged to donate their time and expertise to charitable causes, especially those underpinning the firm’s core commitment to civil liberties and human rights. We advise a range of charities and social enterprises on a pro bono basis. Providing pro bono advice means providing either free or discounted legal advice or may include sitting on the boards as non-executive directors or trustees, or as advisers without receiving any remuneration for that work.

  • When considering whether we are able to take on work on a pro bono basis the following criteria are taking into account: Financial means and resources – priority is given to those clients that are most in need of our help; Expertise – the proposed work must fall within our areas of legal expertise and specialism; Capacity – we must have capacity to take on the proposed work; Conflicts – as with all prospective work, checks will be run to determine any actual or potential conflicts of interest.

  • The DPP, our in-house pro bono initiative, provides free legal representation to individuals facing the death penalty and other vulnerable prisoners, in particular assisting in applications to the London based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

  • We are a signatory to The Law Society Pro Bono Charter, which underpins our approach to pro bono.


For the year of 2020, our firm’s chosen Charity of the Year is The Honeypot Children’s Charity. Their aim is to give constant support to young carers, who can be as young as 5, through outreach and respite breaks.  In previous years, we have supported Centrepoint, Voices in the Middle, War Child and The Sick Children’s Trust. Last year we were partnered with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), and we remain CALM accredited continuing to support their work.

SM&B’s fundraising activities in past years have included: Quiz nights, London-Paris sponsored bicycle rides, the Berlin Marathon, Centrepoint’s ‘Sleep-Out London’, an annual Christmas Jumper day, plus lunches, bake sales and other fundraising activities where all staff are actively involved.

Many of our Partners are trustees of leading charities, including: CALM, Copenhagen Youth Project, Making History, PSA Foundation, Spring Impact, The Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture, The Heart of England Forest, The Royal Court Theatre and Yellow Earth Theatre. In addition, we offer pro bono advice and act for numerous other charitable organisations and social enterprises.

The firm has a proud history of pro bono work and founded The Death Penalty Project (DPP) in 1975, which is based in our offices. Partners Simon Goldberg and Anthony Burton CBE are both Directors and Trustees of the DPP.