Corporate Citizenship

Right from our inception in 1988 we have taken seriously our responsibilities to the communities in which we work and live.  From our pioneering pro bono program, which utilises our legal expertise to address social injustice, to the fact that we have been carbon neutral since 2017, to our work supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, we strive to contribute to a more just and sustainable future.

ENVIRONMENT
RECONCILIATION

We actively engage with the social and environmental impacts of our operations.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program specifically focuses on three streams – community, reconciliation and the environment. Through these programs we:

  • Work to ensure the justice system is accessible to everyone by helping parts of the community who cannot afford legal assistance;
  • Monitor, improve and report on our environmental performance to our key clients, and to the public;
  • Commit with our suppliers of goods and services to achieve better environmental and social sustainability by managing our procurement processes;
  • Maintain an open work place where staff are encouraged to commit to causes, and provide the flexibility to enable them to do that.

We report on our CSR performance to the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA). AusLSA is an industry-led association working collaboratively to improve sustainability in the legal profession.  AusLSA’s sustainability framework includes sustainable and inclusive workplaces, community support, environmental conservation and responsible governance. See G+T’s performance in the AusLSA 2020 Legal Sector Sustainability Update.

We continue to look for ways to improve our contribution as a responsible corporate citizen.

Gilbert + Tobin’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has always been an integral part of our culture and has been the way we do business since the firm was established. From our pioneering pro bono program, which utilises our legal expertise to address social injustice, to the fact that we have been carbon neutral since 2017, to our work supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, we strive to contribute to a more just and sustainable future. Diversity + Inclusion are core to our values. With our Diversity Council established in 2017, we seek to continue to be interventionist in addressing issues of bias across gender equality, flexible working, cultural diversity, LGBTI+ and Accessibility.


Gender Equality

G+T has a long history of women playing important roles not just in legal circles, but in the business world and the broader community generally. Our female partners, and many others within the firm, act as inspiring role models and mentors not just to our female staff, but to other women more generally. G+T has female partners who are leading legal practitioners in their respective field by long distances.

Our initiatives include:

Women's Circle

The Women’s Circle is a Gilbert + Tobin initiative aimed at enriching and supporting the career and professional development of enterprising Australian women. It was established to give women executives the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, share experiences, and network with a peer group of senior women across corporate sectors, government and the arts.

The Circle has four key areas of focus: talent, opportunity, inspiration and networking. Each delegate is provided with opportunities, inspiration and connections which have the potential to sustain and nurture them through their careers.

Women at G+T

The Women’s Circle is a Gilbert + Tobin initiative aimed at enriching and supporting the career and professional development of enterprising Australian women. It was established to give women executives the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, share experiences, and network with a peer group of senior women across corporate sectors, government and the arts.

The Circle has four key areas of focus: talent, opportunity, inspiration and networking. Each delegate is provided with opportunities, inspiration and connections which have the potential to sustain and nurture them through their careers.


Flexible Working

Flexibility is a key element of diversity and inclusion at G+T. A significant proportion of our workforce formally works part-time and many more work remotely or flexibly on a regular basis.


LGBTI+

Gilbert + Tobin is a proud member of Pride in Diversity, Australia’s leading workplace program for inclusion of LGBTI employees. In 2018, we were recognised in the Australian Workplace Equality Index as one of the top employers for LGBTI workplace inclusion in Australia.

OUT at G+T

OUT is Gilbert + Tobin’s LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) and allies group. OUT’s objective is to ensure that Gilbert + Tobin continues to celebrate diversity, including all LGBTI staff, as a fundamental value of the firm.

Founded in 2012, our OUT network:

  • Raises awareness and advocates on LGBTI issues within the firm and in the community;
  • Has an active role in the development of Next Practice thinking, including inclusive policies, diversity audits, training and profile raising;
  • Contributes to the firm’s pro bono and corporate social responsibility work;
  • Makes submissions on behalf of the firm to the Australian Workplace Equality Index;
  • Participates in Pride In Diversity events, including the Pride in Diversity Mardi Gras float;
  • Offers networking and social events for OUT members, allies and clients; and
  • Holds an annual firm-wide fundraiser encouraging all staff to wear purple in support of the Wear It Purple organisation.

Cultural Diversity

Gilbert + Tobin recognises the need for greater cultural diversity in law firms. Our workforce comprises of people from all manner of cultural, ethnic, religious and national backgrounds and identities. As a major partner of the Diversity Council of Australia, we are proud of the cultural diversity across the firm, and we value the talent that everyone brings to the table.


Accessibility

G+T’s is committed to promoting diversity + inclusion within the firm. As part of this commitment our Diversity Council recently endorsed an Accessibility strategy with focus areas including:

  • The development of a Workplace Adjustment Policy in partnership with the Australia Network on Disability (AND); and
  • New website design – we recently rebuilt our website with accessibility principles at its core. Our website complies with WCGA2 guidelines of being perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. 

G+T is proud to be a member of The Valueable 500 – a business to business initiative of companies and leaders committed to putting disability inclusion on their business leadership agenda.

At Gilbert + Tobin, pro bono is a vital part of who we are and what we do. We are proud proponents of social justice and since the firm’s beginning in 1988, pro bono work has been an integral part of our practice.

We have a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, people with disabilities, refugees and human rights matters. We work hard to ensure our services are accessible to people who need them, both in the cities and in rural and remote Australia.

In 1996 we became the first firm in Australia to appoint a full-time, in house pro bono lawyer. We now have two full-time pro bono partners, Michelle Hannon and Anne Cregan, pro bono special counsel Laura Lombardo and three full-time pro bono lawyers together with paralegals from our Indigenous Legal Cadetship Program.

Pro bono is not only the domain of the pro bono team.  Pro bono work is undertaken by lawyers across the firm. In 2019-2020, the firm completed more than 25,459 hours of pro bono work at an average of 57.5 hours per lawyer, conservatively valued at $12.8 million.

Corporate Social Responsibility

ENVIRONMENT
RECONCILIATION

We actively engage with the social and environmental impacts of our operations.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program specifically focuses on three streams – community, reconciliation and the environment. Through these programs we:

  • Work to ensure the justice system is accessible to everyone by helping parts of the community who cannot afford legal assistance;
  • Monitor, improve and report on our environmental performance to our key clients, and to the public;
  • Commit with our suppliers of goods and services to achieve better environmental and social sustainability by managing our procurement processes;
  • Maintain an open work place where staff are encouraged to commit to causes, and provide the flexibility to enable them to do that.

We report on our CSR performance to the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA). AusLSA is an industry-led association working collaboratively to improve sustainability in the legal profession.  AusLSA’s sustainability framework includes sustainable and inclusive workplaces, community support, environmental conservation and responsible governance. See G+T’s performance in the AusLSA 2020 Legal Sector Sustainability Update.

We continue to look for ways to improve our contribution as a responsible corporate citizen.

Diversity + Inclusion

Gilbert + Tobin’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has always been an integral part of our culture and has been the way we do business since the firm was established. From our pioneering pro bono program, which utilises our legal expertise to address social injustice, to the fact that we have been carbon neutral since 2017, to our work supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, we strive to contribute to a more just and sustainable future. Diversity + Inclusion are core to our values. With our Diversity Council established in 2017, we seek to continue to be interventionist in addressing issues of bias across gender equality, flexible working, cultural diversity, LGBTI+ and Accessibility.


Gender Equality

G+T has a long history of women playing important roles not just in legal circles, but in the business world and the broader community generally. Our female partners, and many others within the firm, act as inspiring role models and mentors not just to our female staff, but to other women more generally. G+T has female partners who are leading legal practitioners in their respective field by long distances.

Our initiatives include:

Women's Circle

The Women’s Circle is a Gilbert + Tobin initiative aimed at enriching and supporting the career and professional development of enterprising Australian women. It was established to give women executives the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, share experiences, and network with a peer group of senior women across corporate sectors, government and the arts.

The Circle has four key areas of focus: talent, opportunity, inspiration and networking. Each delegate is provided with opportunities, inspiration and connections which have the potential to sustain and nurture them through their careers.

Women at G+T

The Women’s Circle is a Gilbert + Tobin initiative aimed at enriching and supporting the career and professional development of enterprising Australian women. It was established to give women executives the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, share experiences, and network with a peer group of senior women across corporate sectors, government and the arts.

The Circle has four key areas of focus: talent, opportunity, inspiration and networking. Each delegate is provided with opportunities, inspiration and connections which have the potential to sustain and nurture them through their careers.


Flexible Working

Flexibility is a key element of diversity and inclusion at G+T. A significant proportion of our workforce formally works part-time and many more work remotely or flexibly on a regular basis.


LGBTI+

Gilbert + Tobin is a proud member of Pride in Diversity, Australia’s leading workplace program for inclusion of LGBTI employees. In 2018, we were recognised in the Australian Workplace Equality Index as one of the top employers for LGBTI workplace inclusion in Australia.

OUT at G+T

OUT is Gilbert + Tobin’s LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) and allies group. OUT’s objective is to ensure that Gilbert + Tobin continues to celebrate diversity, including all LGBTI staff, as a fundamental value of the firm.

Founded in 2012, our OUT network:

  • Raises awareness and advocates on LGBTI issues within the firm and in the community;
  • Has an active role in the development of Next Practice thinking, including inclusive policies, diversity audits, training and profile raising;
  • Contributes to the firm’s pro bono and corporate social responsibility work;
  • Makes submissions on behalf of the firm to the Australian Workplace Equality Index;
  • Participates in Pride In Diversity events, including the Pride in Diversity Mardi Gras float;
  • Offers networking and social events for OUT members, allies and clients; and
  • Holds an annual firm-wide fundraiser encouraging all staff to wear purple in support of the Wear It Purple organisation.

Cultural Diversity

Gilbert + Tobin recognises the need for greater cultural diversity in law firms. Our workforce comprises of people from all manner of cultural, ethnic, religious and national backgrounds and identities. As a major partner of the Diversity Council of Australia, we are proud of the cultural diversity across the firm, and we value the talent that everyone brings to the table.


Accessibility

G+T’s is committed to promoting diversity + inclusion within the firm. As part of this commitment our Diversity Council recently endorsed an Accessibility strategy with focus areas including:

  • The development of a Workplace Adjustment Policy in partnership with the Australia Network on Disability (AND); and
  • New website design – we recently rebuilt our website with accessibility principles at its core. Our website complies with WCGA2 guidelines of being perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. 

G+T is proud to be a member of The Valueable 500 – a business to business initiative of companies and leaders committed to putting disability inclusion on their business leadership agenda.

Pro Bono

At Gilbert + Tobin, pro bono is a vital part of who we are and what we do. We are proud proponents of social justice and since the firm’s beginning in 1988, pro bono work has been an integral part of our practice.

We have a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, people with disabilities, refugees and human rights matters. We work hard to ensure our services are accessible to people who need them, both in the cities and in rural and remote Australia.

In 1996 we became the first firm in Australia to appoint a full-time, in house pro bono lawyer. We now have two full-time pro bono partners, Michelle Hannon and Anne Cregan, pro bono special counsel Laura Lombardo and three full-time pro bono lawyers together with paralegals from our Indigenous Legal Cadetship Program.

Pro bono is not only the domain of the pro bono team.  Pro bono work is undertaken by lawyers across the firm. In 2019-2020, the firm completed more than 25,459 hours of pro bono work at an average of 57.5 hours per lawyer, conservatively valued at $12.8 million.