Mayflower 400

Steering our future, inspired by the past

The year 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the historic voyage of the Mayflower ship from the UK to the ‘New World’ of America.

As lead national partner, we are at the forefront of commemorating a milestone in history that is set to boost turnover and leverage business opportunities across the Atlantic and close to home with a series of events and activities.

A part of our national commitment, we are partnering on the Mayflower 400 Speaker Series taking place across the UK. 

The first event was held in Plymouth and headlined by Debra Searle who shot to fame after rowing the Atlantic solo. She told the story of her gruelling three month journey across the ocean.

Other events have seen inspiring speaker slots from Director of the Institute for Government, Bronwen Maddox; Humanitarian and Author, Terry Waite CBE and Explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

The Mayflower enduring spirit celebrates the key themes behind the historic voyage of this iconic ship: freedom, humanity, imagination and the future.

These themes are an integral part of our collective heritage and remain highly relevant in the world in which we work in. 


"The liberty of the individual to pursue their beliefs."

We strive to create a diverse and inclusive culture to attract and retain the very best people. Whether with clients, employees or suppliers; building relationships is a part of who we are, in which we nurture a spirit of equality, fairness and respect for all.

These qualities make us a better business and are integral to a successful workplace.

To ensure that diversity and inclusion is at the foundation of our business, we collaborate on a variety of activities, campaigns and initiatives both internally and externally.

This includes our #BeYourself campaign that actively encourages our people to be their real selves and endorses our culture of valuing our people by celebrating our differences.

"We do not discriminate, we are for everyone."

People are at the very heart of what we do and to succeed we need the most talented and motivated teams in place. 

We work hard to ensure that difference is visibly valued and welcomed.

In the community, we want our actions to have real social value impact, and so focus our activity on social mobility, empowerment and unlocking potential in the areas of education, employment and entrepreneurship. Examples include our award-winning apprenticeship schemes along with our wider responsible business initiatives.

Responsible Business

"In the spirit of the Pilgrims we think big, we improvise and we innovate."

Innovation to us combines the best ideas, people and technology to produce better ways of delivering both new and existing services to our clients.

We continually strive to ensure that any new ways of working we deliver are truly aligned with our clients’ needs, and can demonstrate value. Services include:

  • WBD Advance - our flexible solution bringing together innovative technology and commercial services that complement our existing legal advice
  • WBD Accelerate - a streamlined accelerator platform for start-ups and scale-ups ensuring that the 'legals' are right from the outset. 

Every year, we host our very own International Innovation Week which is designed to proactively look at innovative solutions that are transforming the legal industry and other sectors.

Outside the legal world, we are always inspired by those who challenge the norm. Our support for Team Tyne Innovation helped the crew achieved a new world record for being the fasted mixed four by 14 days in the successful completion of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, the world’s toughest rowing race.

"We always look forward, building knowledge and legacy."

The ability to share insights both close to home and across the Atlantic showcases us as a trusted adviser and thought-leader in the marketplace.

We are committed in providing practical and commercial insights that are both relevant and timely, such as our Brexit campaign and our added-value horizon scanning - exclusive to clients.

From supporting successful trade missions to Atlanta and Boston for UK businesses to launching a transatlantic exchange programme for lawyers, we are always striving to build our connections from the past, present and future.

Transatlantic network

"400 years ago, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth where we have one of our long established eight UK offices and landed in Boston where we have one of our newest US offices. It's fantastic to celebrate the close ties and ongoing relationship between the US and the UK with all of the benefits this brings."

Jonathan Blair, Managing Partner