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Section 172 Statement

This statement is made pursuant to sections 414C and 414CZA of the Companies Act 2006 by:

Surf (Holdco) Limited

Surf (Midco) Limited

Surf (Bidco) Limited

Section 172 Statement made under sections 414C and 414CZA of the Companies Act 2006

The board of Directors of the Group recognises that driving the success of the Group for the benefit of its members as a whole requires genuine consideration of the interests all the stakeholders and other matters set out in S172 (1) (a-f) of the Companies Act 2006). Accordingly these considerations are an integral part of all its decisions, as well as in all decisions and policies of the Executive. This is demonstrated in numerous actions and decisions taken in the year ended 30 April 2021 as summarised below:

(a) Likely consequence of any decision in the long term

The Board recognises that the long term success of the Group’s business is dependent upon maintaining a strong reputation amongst its clients and workers as well as other suppliers and stakeholders. This reputation will drive the continued rapid growth of the business and its ability to satisfy the needs of its clients and workers. Decisions which do not adequately take into account and address the interests of these stakeholders will stifle growth and be detrimental to the business. Accordingly, in making its decisions the Board is always mindful of how the decision impacts its clients and workers in particular.

The Board’s focus on maintaining the long term goodwill of its stakeholders is demonstrated in the following key decisions made during the year:

  • Strategic partnership with Syke Legal Engineering – in approving this partnership the Board considered that it would significantly expand LOD’s ability to support the in-house legal teams of our clients by making them more productive, nimble and cost effective. Likewise, the Board recognised the opportunity to generate more exciting and attractive opportunities for the legal professionals in our team.
  • Review and re-launch of our Diversity Equality and Inclusion Policy – the Board recognises that the diversity agenda is critical to the Group’s success. Due to the nature of the work we undertake and the services we provide we are at the forefront of promoting to our clients the value of a more diverse workforce representative of wider society. In approving this policy review and re-launch the Board saw that such leadership strongly reinforces our reputation. Furthermore, the Board recognised that the policy would enhance the quality and depth of our workforce, which in turn would reinforce our ability to grow the business.

(b) Interests of employees

Our people are at the heart the Group’s business. The Board recognises that a strong and motivated workforce is fundamental to the Group’s ability to satisfy its client’s needs, and its ability to grow depends upon continuing to grow a workforce of that calibre. This will not happen if the interests of the workforce are not taken care of in everything we do.

The Board’s ongoing focus on its employees is demonstrated in the following key decisions and actions during the year:

  • Review and re-launch of our Diversity Equality and Inclusion Policy – the Board’s support for the relaunch has led to ongoing initiatives amongst our employees to overcome our unconscious biases and improve and enhance our inclusiveness across the whole team, improving our ability to attract and retain people of the highest calibre.
  • Covid-19 response – the Board recognised the significant challenges faced by our people throughout the year and a key focus of weekly reporting and frequent meetings was ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our workers was at the forefront of our decisions on flexible working arrangements and the provision of facilities and support for new and different ways of working. This included supporting a range of measures to help our clients to understand and accommodate such new and different ways of working for those on assignment to such clients.
  • Communications – the Board ensures that employees are kept up to date via regular communications including monthly newsletters, bimonthly business updates and the Group’s intranet.
  • Wellbeing – the Board takes the wellbeing of its people seriously and offers a range of benefits such as an employee assistance program, gym memberships, medical insurance, flexible working arrangements, health and wellbeing grants and a life of dreams fund (to support worthy causes close to the hearts of individuals on the team). In addition the Group undertakes employee surveys on a frequent basis.

(c) Foster business relationships with suppliers, customers and others

The success of the Group is dependent upon the strong relationships we build with our clients. The Group invests in a team of client solutions specialists carefully chosen for their ability to foster and grow such relationships. This relationship focus also flows through to our suppliers and other stakeholders.

The Board’s ongoing focus on relationships is demonstrated in the following key decisions and actions during the year:

  • Client advisory board – the Board supports the Group’s focus on careful listening through an advisory board comprised of a group of senior lawyers from clients and other organisations who advise us on our services and strategy from an in-house legal leader perspective.
  • Client round tables – in supporting these regular events the Board recognises the value of LOD facilitating peer to peer discussions amongst our clients on common problems. The clients value the chance to learn from each other and LOD gains insights which enable it to enhance its service offerings to the clients.
  • Co-hosting webinars – the Board encourages the Group to demonstrate thought leadership on issues facing our clients, as well as giving clients an opportunity to do the same, as a way of deepening our relationships.

(d) Maintain a reputation for high standards of business conduct

As a leading provider of legal services, the Board is acutely aware that the Group’s strong reputation depends on us holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards expected of legal professionals. It recognises that clients and workers value high standards and remains vigilant on compliance in all its meetings.

The Board’s ongoing focus on our standards of conduct is demonstrated in the following key decisions and actions during the year:

  • Ways of working – in approving a review and restatement of the Group’s “Ways of Working” the Board ensured that the statement reflected its focus on the highest ethical standards.
  • Training portal – in supporting the launch of a dedicated training portal with an associated revamp of the Group’s training program the Board ensured the ongoing focus on compliance in the Group.

(e) Act fairly as between members of the company

The holding company of the Group is a closely held private company with a small number of shareholders and even representation on the Board from each of the key groups of members, who collectively ensure that the interests of all members are taken into account wherever their interests might diverge.

(f) Impact of the operations on the community and the environment

The Board recognises that the Group and our people should have a positive impact on the communities in which we operate and that accordingly the Group should contribute to the support of those communities and to charitable causes. The Board believes the most effective way to do so is to support the causes our people are passionate about, and does so with initiatives such as the Life of Dreams Fund (already mentioned) and facilitating participation in various fundraising activities.

The Board is also mindful of what we do in respect of the impact on the environment. We are constantly considering how we can conduct ourselves in a way that reduces our carbon footprint. This is evident in the sustainable manner in which we look to conduct our business. Where possible all offices have recycling facilities, and the group promotes minimising the use of paper and remote collaboration to reduce our carbon footprint.

This statement was approved by the board of each Company.

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