Linklaters advises on the launch of new digital platform mobilising private wealth towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Linklaters has advised Align17, a new digital investment platform launched today at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Align17 matches parties seeking investment deals addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with co-investment opportunities brought by a vetted group of top-tier impact investors, development finance institutions and NGOs. The platform was founded on the understanding that the world’s biggest challenges are also its biggest opportunities and the belief that private wealth is the key to unlocking the SDGs. 

The Linklaters team, led by Capital Markets partner Mark Nuttall and managing associate Lucy Sidey, worked to create the structure of this initiative and advised on the regulatory and tax position. 

Mark Nuttall says:

“This is the first time that private investors are being offered a scalable way to invest alongside some of the world’s top impact investors. It’s an exciting time and is a strong step forward as the business world looks at the role it plays in sustainable development.” 

Linklaters’ social finance practice is driving capital into causes supporting the SDGs. Through legal and structuring innovation, we aim to provide a testing ground for these investments, and thus pave the way to improving people’s lives at scale. The practice is part of our strategy to contribute our expertise to eradicating poverty and challenging injustice. 

In recent years, the firm has been involved in a number of initiatives which look to address the SDGs, including:

  • Pioneering the legal structure of a bond that triggers financial returns when enrolment of girls in school in Rajasthan increases and improved educational outcomes are achieved. Two years in and the project has exceeded the enrolment target of girls and investors are on track to recoup their initial funding. 
  • Providing global research aiming to strengthen protections for fishing industry workers against slavery and labour exploitation which ultimately led to stronger legislation introduced in the Philippines to tackle labour exploitation. 
  • Devising the legal structure of the Retail Charity Bond platform which has since enabled five charities in the UK to raise £147 million in loans from individual investors.

For more information on Linklaters social finance practice and related pro bono activities, see