Kate Fergusson Joins Firm From Pinsent Masons
Irwin Mitchell has appointed its first Head of Responsible Business as the firm seeks to further build on its strong corporate and social responsibility foundations and embed its commitment to ESG principles in all of its key stakeholder relationships.
Kate Fergusson joins Irwin Mitchell from a similar role at Pinsent Masons where she led on award-winning community investment and inclusion and wellbeing strategies.
She studied Law at the University of Sheffield and is a qualified solicitor with over 14 years’ experience of working within the Responsible Business sector. Kate has been recognised as a Responsible Business Game Changer by Business in the Community and is a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.
Irwin Mitchell last year (2021) refreshed its Responsible Business strategy to focus on two key strands of Inclusion and Sustainability and with the overall aim of becoming a leading Responsible Business. The firm has one of the highest percentages of female partners in the UK and the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation has donated more than £2.5m to good causes since its inception in 1997.
The firm has supported many disability sport initiatives including partnering with gold medal winning Paralympian Hannah Cockroft MBE and working with the English Amputee Football Association. Irwin Mitchell has also established a mentoring club for young rugby players alongside England Rugby and the RFU.
Now the firm is seeking to enhance its Responsible Business credentials even further following the recent recruitment of a Diversity and Inclusion Manager and an Environmental and Sustainability Manager.
Kate said: "I am incredibly excited to be joining a firm with such deep-rooted values and a genuine commitment to behaving responsibly and making a positive difference to its clients, people and the wider community. It is a privilege to be given this opportunity, taking solid foundations and building on them to take us to the next level where responsible business is embedded in everything we do.
“One of the things which differentiates Irwin Mitchell is the high level of employee engagement and personal commitment to doing business in the right way, whether that is via membership of our internal diversity networks and wellbeing initiatives, pro-bono work, volunteering or the way we engage with clients and suppliers. I can’t wait to get started and work with such a fantastic team.”
Expert Opinion"Kate’s appointment marks another leap forward for Irwin Mitchell in building our Responsible Business programme. She is incredibly experienced, understands the legal sector, and her enthusiasm will help us keep up our upwards momentum of the past few years.
“As well as being the right thing to do, being a Responsible Business is something that our clients, colleagues and the wider community, including suppliers, are increasing asking us to report on and we are committed to becoming a leading business in this field.
“ESG has risen in prominence over the past couple of years, accelerated by the pandemic and the climate emergency. It’s a regulatory and reporting framework that’s still evolving, and which every business is on a journey to understand and we are increasingly being asked to help our corporate and institutional clients to navigate the reporting networks.” Victoria Brackett - Group Chief Commercial Officer
Irwin Mitchell also last year confirmed its Flexible By Choice approach to working allowing colleagues to choose where and when they work subject to client requirements.