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 clients in various sectors on effective global governance and compliance systems and remediation programs to address compliance vulnerabilities including in relation to bribery & corruption risks, product safety, licensing conditions, climate change, and environmental or human rights impacts
  • Climate change: advising in relation to climate governance, transition plans, net zero targets and pathways, TCFD and other emissions reporting requirements; on greenwashing, and other forms of ESG litigation (including anti-ESG driven); and advising on the regulatory and liability regimes applicable to low carbon technologies
  • Human Rights: advising on the formulation of human rights policies, risk and impact assessment and due diligence of human rights related risk and strategic advice on management of human rights risks in conflict affected areas and high jeopardy situations
  • Product risk: advising consumer companies on product liability and response, product stewardship regulation, product registrations, supply chain due diligence and disclosure requirements and food regulation
  • Sustainable finance: advice on regulatory requirements, fund and product specific sustainability criteria and disclosures, sustainable finance frameworks and applicable soft law and emerging regulation
  • Project Finance: advising on environmental and social aspects of projects. Advising the Equator Principles group on governance. Advising financial institutions on their PF focused sustainability standards
  • Environmental: Advice on a wide range of environmental and occupational 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
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