Corporate Sustainability

The roles and responsibilities of multinationals and other large companies have never been more complex, or more circumscribed by governance and reporting requirements intended to encourage increased corporate responsibility. Civil society groups are also scrutinising companies more than before, and taking increasingly imaginative legal routes to seek to hold them to account. We advise clients on the hard law and soft law landscape of these requirements, helping clients to understand the regulatory requirements, and to articulate and communicate their strategy and commitments. We also help when things go wrong, developing and strategy to respond to critical campaigns, AGMs, NGO lobbying of investors, or non-judicial complaints or civil claims.

The Environment and Climate Change group does not advise on these issues in isolation. Rather, our advice is often provided in conjunction with other teams within the firm, notably:

  • The multi-disciplinary Risk and Resilience team delivers solutions to address your commercial, regulatory and governance challenges to help you secure the long-term sustainability of your organisation; and
  • The Business and Human Rights Group, which advises companies on the adoption of robust policies to identify, prevent or mitigate human rights impacts.

Recent transactions include:

  • advising board members on issues of strategic risk, for example, with regard to product licensing and compliance, asset integrity, compliance culture failures, long tail environmental or industrial disease risks etc
  • advising on responses to non-judicial reviews including UN Special Rapporteurs, international financial institution ombudsman and others
  • advising a range of international financial institutions and commercial banks on their sustainability standards
  • establishing to governance arrangements for the Equator Association
  • advice on the fiduciary duty of asset owners with regard to ESG issues, including low carbon investment and carbon asset risk; and
  • advising on extractive sector transparency obligation under the EU Accounting Directive and other sustainability reporting obligations (e.g. modern slavery, human rights).