Introduction – Objectives

We are delighted to share our first Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility (CSR) charter, which outlines our actions and the principles that guide us in making our company an actor of tomorrow’s world.

This charter highlights our commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and transparency since the firm’s creation in 2012. The law firm Leaf recognizes its crucial role in its eco-system as an economic and social actor promoting ethical values and acting in the name of sustainable development.

Following the guidelines established by the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), this charter details our actions and projects as well as our objectives for 2025 in terms of environmental, social, and human rights impact. We are devoted to uniting our teams, collaborators, and clients around a common philosophy, which forms the basis of our commitment and expresses the unique personality of Leaf

Introduction – Presentation

The concept of CSR is based on the idea that the scope of a company’s social duty goes beyond its strictly legal and regulatory responsibility.

The company is required to integrate into its strategy the continuous improvement of its social performance, both:

  • internally (taking into account the working conditions of its employees and collaborators)
  • and externally, i.e., societal (involvement in its community, improvement of its relations with the various stakeholders, respect for the environment).

The ISO 26000 standard, an international standard, defines the scope of CSR around seven central themes:

  • organizational governance
  • human rights
  • labor relations and conditions
  • the environmental question
  • the loyalty of practices
  • customer-related issues
  • communities and local development
  1. Commitments to our teams and collaborators

Leaf, endorsing its role as a responsible firm, places the well-being of its employees at the heart of its concerns. Thus, the establishment of a fulfilling and fair work environment is paramount.

  1. Promote an inclusive, respectful, and fair work environment

We believe in a fully human approach, valuing respect and integrity. We wish to promote inclusiveness and diversity and believe deeply in the principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. By placing people at the heart of our considerations, we wish to create an environment in which our collaborators can feel valued and included. Thus, our firm has established an organization scheme based on a collective decision-making process, which involves the founder, Bruno Grangier, and 3 of his Partners (Charlotte, Marion and Jean-Philippe). By working as a team, we value the skills of each individual. We are aware of the value of our collaborators and their essential role within the firm. For this reason, we strive to create a fulfilling work environment, taking into account the personal and family situations of each individual. We also implement appropriate tools when necessary (e.g., teleworking with appropriate IT tools).

The average length of service of our lawyers within the Leaf firm currently exceeding 7 years testifies to the atmosphere and work environment that we cultivate. Unlike many other law firms, we do not set an annual quota of hours to be completed, which gives our collaborators the freedom to manage their time flexibly and responsibly. This approach not only promotes a healthier work-life balance but also encourages optimal productivity and creativity without the pressure of quantitative objectives

  1. Valuing diversity and combating all forms of discrimination

The firm is strongly committed to the principles of equality and diversity and strives to promote them daily in the fields of recruitment, remuneration, and promotion.

Most notably, our firm, predominantly female (12 women and 3 men), aims to promote the place of women within management and adheres to the ethical rules and principles of the National Internal Regulations of the Legal Profession (RIN), prohibiting harassment and discrimination. Lawyers, by their oath, protect human rights and promote fundamental freedoms.

  1. Ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our employees

At Leaf, we put the physical and mental health of our employees at the center of our considerations. Our aim is to promote a culture of openness and support where employees are comfortable to talk about their concerns and seek help if necessary.

An example of this commitment is the support we provided to a member of our team who was facing health difficulties. From the time of his medical diagnosis, we organized personalized support for him, including increased flexibility in his working hours and the possibility to work from home for as long as c c c c c c c c c necessary. He also benefited from a gradual return-to-work plan, allowing for a gentle and respectful reintegration at his own recovery pace.

Our goal is to create a work environment where everyone feels valued and able to fully thrive, despite the uncertainties of personal life

  1. Promoting the international character of the firm

As an international law firm, Leaf stands out for its strong presence in China and its recognized expertise in cross-border transactions. Our firm is deeply marked by a Franco-Chinese biculturalism, which manifests itself daily in the collaborative and continuous work of our teams. This unique synergy allows us to understand and overcome the complexities encountered in this legal and commercial environment, not only in China and France but also on a global scale. Our lawyers, specialized in cross-border transactions, leverage this bicultural wealth to provide tailored legal solutions, facilitating the integration and growth of companies in multicultural environments. This commitment to Franco-Chinese collaboration enriches our international perspective and allows us to stay at the forefront of legal innovation.

A concrete example of this bicultural integration is our strategic partnership with DFDL, concretized by the Asia Hub initiative. This partnership strengthens our ability to provide legal and business advice tailored to the specificities of Asian and European markets, creating a bridge between these two key regions.

1.5.     Enabling the continuous training of our employees

Leaf places great importance on the continuous training of our lawyers and collaborators. We firmly believe that professional development is essential not only for individual success but also for the vitality and overall effectiveness of our firm. Thus, we actively encourage our teams to pursue their training and enrich their legal expertise. To facilitate this commitment, we offer dedicated time and the necessary support to those who wish to expand their skills or obtain new qualifications. For example, we actively support our collaborators who, while practicing their profession, undertake additional studies.

This support policy reflects our conviction that investing in human capital is fundamental to our mission and the realization of our long-term vision.

Moreover, in recognition of the growing importance of environmental issues in the legal sector, we wish to collaborate in the coming year with specialized organizations to enrich our knowledge and raise awareness among our teams (such as Fresque du Climat). These initiatives animate training sessions on the impacts of climate change, which are essential for strengthening our understanding of environmental challenges and integrating them into our legal practices

  • Commitments to society
  • Contribute to the social and economic development of local communities.

At Leaf, we firmly believe in the importance of supporting causes that are close to our hearts, such as education. To this end, we are committed to supporting educational initiatives through pro bono actions.

A significant example of our commitment is our unformal collaboration with the Couleurs de Chine association. This association is dedicated to the education of children from ethnic minorities in remote regions of China, particularly girls from the Miao, Dong, and Yao ethnic groups. Couleurs de Chine offers scholarships to enable these children to access education and pursue their secondary and higher education. By providing free assistance for their legal affairs, we help the association comply with regulations, secure its funding, and focus on its essential educational projects. Furthermore, we also participate in the Madaifu project, which is dedicated to helping orphans in rural areas of China. Madaifu provides material, educational, and emotional support to disadvantaged children, thus offering them a chance to improve their future through education. Our involvement includes providing free legal advice and assistance in managing their legal affairs, enabling the association to operate effectively and maximize its impact.

These actions illustrate our commitment to using our legal skills to support educational causes and contribute to the social development of local communities. By helping these associations achieve their missions, we contribute to creating opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and promoting equal opportunities through education and fighting against obscurantism.

  • Backing entrepreneurial initiatives

We regularly provide legal support to young entrepreneurs. Aware of the challenges faced by youngsters, we provide them with legal advice on creating their business, protecting intellectual property, commercial contracts, or even negotiating shareholder agreements. This initiative aims to encourage innovation and facilitate market access for new businesses, contributing to a sustainable and active entrepreneurial ecosystem. Two concrete actions illustrate our commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship:

•           Entrepreneur Organization (EO) in China: Our partner, Bruno Grangier, became a mentor within the Entrepreneur Organization in China. His impact consisted in supporting two startups over a six-month period, during which he helped these companies review their strategy and business model, as well as develop their network. This mentorship enabled startups to benefit from strategic advice and gain access to valuable resources for their growth.

•           Participation in the Pitch Day at CCIFC: We participated in the Pitch Day organized by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (CCIFC). This event brought together young entrepreneurs with a panel of investors, offering them a platform to present their projects and obtain funding. Our participation aimed to encourage innovation and support the development of new businesses by providing them with networking and funding opportunities.

These pro bono actions once again reflect our commitment to education and entrepreneurship, aligning our legal and entrepreneurial expertise with the needs of those working for a better future.

  • Commitments to the environment
  • Reduce our environmental footprint

With the aim of reducing our carbon footprint, we have implemented and wish to implement several measures within the firm:

  • Promoting the use of carafes and glasses rather than plastic bottles and cups for coffee or tea;
  • Cycling is encouraged, with the majority of employees coming to the firm by bike or public transport
  • Recycling of paper documents (confidential or not) as well as all cardboard, newspapers, and magazines with the installation of recycling bins in most offices and near all photocopiers
  • Installation of collection points for plastic waste and Nespresso coffee capsules; • Recycling of toners and ink cartridges collected (including for the personal printers of firm members)
  • Recycling of batteries and light bulbs
  • Recycling of books and clothes
  • Subscription to EDF for green energy contracts for the supply of our electricity consumption
  • Reduction of our paper consumption thanks to better control of our printing: printing in recto-verso mode by default, printing in black and white mode by default, and deletion of cover pages
  • Reflection in progress on the modalities for compensating our CO2 emissions
  • Initiative to have its carbon footprint calculated by a specialized company.
  • Act for sustainable development

We are committed to modernizing our professional practices by integrating environmental considerations. To do this, we favor remote interactions by prioritizing Teams workspaces between collaborators and with our clients, demonstrating intelligent adaptation to minimize unnecessary travel. Additionally, we record all our documents on an internal cloud to avoid wasteful printing and regularly clean our email inboxes

Conclusion

Leaf is committed to adopting responsible corporate governance based on the principles of transparency and responsibility. This means that we implement management mechanisms that ensure ethical and informed decision-making, taking into account the interests of all our stakeholders. We believe that transparency is essential for building trust and strengthening our credibility with our clients, collaborators, and partners. This includes clear and regular communication of our actions and results in terms of corporate social and environmental responsibility.

We commit to regularly evaluate our CSR practices and identify areas for improvement. This means that we conduct internal audits and assessments of our performance to determine where improvements are needed. This process allows us to remain responsive and adapt to new requirements and expectations of our stakeholders, as well as legislative and regulatory changes.

Implementing corrective actions is also part of our commitment. When an assessment reveals gaps or opportunities for improvement, we develop and deploy action plans to address them. We also encourage the participation of all our stakeholders, including our employees, clients, and partners, in our CSR efforts. This collaborative approach ensures that our initiatives are inclusive and benefit from the expertise and perspectives of all parties involved.

This culture of continuous improvement enables us to stay at the forefront of responsible practices and ensure that we create a lasting positive impact in all our activities