Legal firm Burness Paull has created the role of inclusion and wellbeing manager, a post dedicated to overseeing the firm’s respect and inclusion agenda on a full-time basis.

Emma Smith, currently HR business partner for the Dispute Resolution department across the Central Belt, will take up the new role, in what is believed to be a first for a Scottish corporate law firm.

She will work in partnership with departments across the firm to embed the principles of respect, inclusion and wellbeing in its internal and external relationships and processes.

She will also liaise with the firm’s existing BeIncluded strategy group to provide in-depth, specialist advice around respect and inclusion (R&I) and wellbeing within Burness Paull, and help to design, implement and embed new approaches to strengthen the firm's status as an employer of choice for high-performing talent.

Her role will include ensuring existing practices within the firm are fit for purpose, improving the firm’s outreach work and seeking new ways of working with external partners like SEMLA (Scottish Ethnic Minority Lawyers' Association), Stonewall, ENABLE, ENEI, Rare Recruitment and the Social Mobility Index to ensure the firm's policies and processes are as transparent and inclusive as possible.

Burness Paull currently employs more than 550 people, including 75 partners, across its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Firm chair Peter Lawson explained: "Over the past two years the inclusion and wellbeing agenda has grown exponentially in tandem with the increasing emphasis on environmental, social, and corporate governance [ESG] for responsible employers, and we anticipate this trend will continue.

"This role will enable us to take an even more focused approach to R&I across the firm, and investing in dedicated resource is a visible demonstration of our strong commitment to inclusion and wellbeing and ESG both internally and externally.”