Seagal salute

"So who are you, are you, like, some special forces guy or something?”  
“I’m just a lawyer.”

Herbert Smith Freehills, Clifford Chance and Irwin Mitchell have been granted the Gold Award by the Ministry of Defence in recognition of their support of the Armed Forces community, proving that you don't need to wear a patch on your arm to have honour. 

The firms may not have stormed any enemy positions, or carried wounded comrades across a battlefield while under heavy fire, but they were given the Gold award in the 2021 Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, for their "outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community". 

HSF, CC and Irwin Mitchell were the only three law firms to be honoured by the MOD with the award. The firms received their prizes for making good on the UK Armed Forces Covenant. Signatories must try and find jobs in their businesses for veterans, and are required to provide appropriate special treatment for any injured ex-Armed Forces personnel they employ. 

The covenant extends to staff who are in a relationship with a serving member of the Forces, asking signatories to show flexibility around their requests for leave made in connection with their partner's deployment.

In perhaps the greatest sacrifice a law firm can make, signatories are asked to grant special leave for reservists to go on manoeuvres, even though it might mean giving extra holiday to SAS fantasists who have read every Andy McNab book and watched every episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins, and go full camo on every stag-do paintballing session.   

"Transitioning from a military role to a civilian environment is not easy, so it's great to be recognised for doing our bit," said Haig Tyler, Chief Information Officer at Herbert Smith Freehills and a former Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. "The skills learned in the Armed Forces are referred to as lifelong learning for a reason and we are proud that our ongoing commitment to former and serving personnel has been recognised with such a prestigious award."

Clifford Chance partner, Dorian Drew said, "We're in the business of saving lives."  "We are committed to attracting and supporting colleagues from diverse backgrounds, including veterans, reservists and military spouses, whose knowledge and skills make unique contributions to our firm. This means ensuring we have the right policies in place and that we build and foster an inclusive and flexible culture."

Irwin Mitchell, known to have staff with the vision of eagle-eyed snipers in their rank, was also decorated with the award. 

“After an extraordinary and challenging year, it’s a significant achievement to receive an ERS Gold Award on behalf of Irwin Mitchell," said Group Chief Executive Andrew Tucker. “Our commitment to the forces community and the Armed Forces Covenant remains strong and we remain as active as ever in recruiting ex-servicemen and women and in acting for hundreds current and ex-Armed Forces personnel in  military claims.

Herbies and Clifford Chance were recognised with a silver award last year. The two firms were founding members of the Military in Law Network (MilNet), which seeks to help military veterans and reservists in the legal industry by building an understanding of what they can bring to firms, and to ensure that they "have access to fulfilling roles where their capabilities will be valued".

Tip Off ROF


Commander Krill 23 July 21 07:00

“Shut up and listen. ‘Expert in Martial Arts, Explosives, Weapons and Tactics. Silver Star, Navy Cross, Purple Heart with Cluster, and Security Clearance revoked after Panama.’ That means he couldn't hold any rating except that of a yeoman or a lawyer. How little did I know.”

Anonymous 23 July 21 08:40

Imagine having given your best years for your country.  You may have seen friends killed or gravely injured and may even have been injured yourself in the line of your service.  Having expended blood, toil, tears and sweat, you then face the final crushing indignity: working for Irwin Mitchell.

Help for Heroes 23 July 21 09:45

A pretty snitty article.

Captain Mainwaring 23 July 21 09:51

Is snitty a TA term?

Regardless, I thought it was very positive.


Anonymous 23 July 21 10:02

Come on, that's not striking a partner!  [punches Krill in the face] That's striking an partner!  [begins to fight office security team]

Anonymous 23 July 21 10:07

-Matthew Layton bursts out of cake-

Asturias Es Mi Patria 23 July 21 10:16

Snidey article about soldiers non shocka

Anonymouse 23 July 21 10:49

Does IM still have a department dedicated to suing the MOD?

Anonymous 24 July 21 00:37

Oh dear.  Walmington-on-sea fails again. 

Anonymous 26 July 21 19:26

IM might have received a gold reward for recognition to the MoD but what they haven’t told you is that their pay review this year is absolutely shocking - way below par - they haven’t listened to a single colleague. I predict mass walk outs from across the firm 

Sausages 28 July 21 16:41

Met lots of regulars who were fantasists / big timers and turned out to be turbo dog poo, including one or two very dim and useless Ruperts who would struggle to manage paper clip supplies in an office role.

Served on operations with quite a few reservists who out performed their regular counterparts at soldiering / fitness / being all round good blokes. 

Saw a fair bit of resentment / basic snobbery / out right dislike towards reservists simply because they were reservists as opposed to any objective assessment or measure.

Never judge a book by its cover.

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