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Stephenson Harwood to offer lawyers electric car perk

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New initiative available through salary sacrifice with money firm saves put towards other green initiatives

Eco-conscious aspiring lawyers will be pleased to hear Stephenson Harwood will soon be offering staff a new perk that allows them to lease an electric car at an “affordable” rate.

Employees in the commercial law firm’s City of London office will be able to configure a new electric car — complete with insurance, road tax, replacement tyres, routine servicing and maintenance, as well as breakdown cover — for a fixed monthly amount from next year.

The initiative is available through salary sacrifice; an arrangement where an employee can choose to reduce their salary in return for a non-cash benefit.

The firm said that as a result of the income tax and national insurance savings which apply under such an arrangement that leasing a vehicle in this way “make it better value than a normal private lease agreement for our people”. It will also put any money saved on its own NI contributions towards other green initiatives.

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Axel Koelsch, chief operating officer at Stephenson Harwood, who had the idea for the e-car benefit, said: “We were looking for a way for everyone to be able to participate and do something tangible. Historically, many of the steps law firms have taken on the environment have been either invisible to staff — like heating system optimisation — or tokenistic. We know that the key drivers for carbon dioxide usage are buildings and transport. We’re doing a lot of work with our aviation, shipping and rail clients to help them keep goods moving in a sustainable way that aligns with the COP26 goals. Offering our people an accessible and affordable option for leasing an electric car felt like a great benefit to provide.”

Stephenson Harwood achieved carbon neutral status in the London office in 2019 and is working towards net zero and reducing its carbon emissions by 50%.

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