Image of Vanessa Havard-Williams

Vanessa Havard-Williams

Consultant, London


Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


Vanessa is a consultant at the firm, focusing on ESG and sustainability. She was previously the head of the firm’s global environmental and climate change practice, founded the firm’s ESG practice and co-headed the Risk and Resilience and Crisis Management teams.

Her recent work highlights include:

  • International governance: advising a multinational company on effective global governance and compliance measures to address bribery & corruption risks, and advising an international energy and contracting company in respect of risks associated with conflicts of interest
  • Product risk: advising  consumer companies regulatory risk  including product stewardship regulation, product registrations, sustainability requirements applicable to timber and biomass, and advice on food regulation
  • Human Rights: advising on the formulation of human rights policies, risk assessment and due diligence of human rights related direct risks and supply chain risk
  • Equator Principles & sustainable finance: advising on environmental and social aspects of projects including Sakhalin Energy’s oil and gas project in Russia, Schahin’s drilling rigs financing and Anglo American’s acquisition and disposal of copper mining interests in Zambia. Advising the Equator Principles group on governance. Advising an international financial institution and several commercial banks on their sustainability standards
  • Climate change: advising in relation to mandatory corporate reporting of greenhouse gas emissions; narrative reporting including advice on sustainability reports, and advising on the regulatory regime applicable to carbon capture and storage
  • Energy: advising on the regulatory and real estate regime applicable in the UK to shale gas exploration, advice on judicial review of energy regulation; advice on energy related EU directives and on EU and US transparency
  • Environmental: Advice on a wide range of environmental regulatory and contentious issues including  on  industrial disease liabilities; operational and product compliance regulation, contaminated land, environmental insurance and advice on preparing and responding to NGO direct action campaigns
  • Transactional: Corporate Acquisitions, Disposals, Flotations etc.: (i) the sale by Repsol of its upstream LNG business; (ii) the acquisition by Siemens of the Invensys Rail Systems business, (iii) the disposal by BP of its 50% stake interest in TNK-BP to Rosneft and (iv) the financing of the expansion of Reficar’s Cartagena Refinery by US Ex-Im and commercial lenders
Professional experience

2023 - to date Consultant, ESG
1999 - 2023 Partner, Linklaters, London (Environment & Climate Change Group)
1999 - to date Partner, Linklaters, London (Environment & Planning Group)
1994 - 1999 Assistant Solicitor Linklaters, London (Litigation Department)
1991 - 1993 Assistant Solicitor Linklaters, Brussels
1990 - 1991 Assistant Solicitor Linklaters, London (Litigation Department)
1988 - 1990 Trainee Solicitor Linklaters


1987 - 1988 College of Law, Law Society Final Examinations
1984 - 1987 Oxford University BA Hons


English, French