Legal trends follow social trends, and our work handling environmental, social and governance risks continues to grow. We protect against reputation risks and highlight developing legal and economic risks to guard freedom to operate.
Where once ESG was a matter for campaign groups, increasingly it is a requirement of lenders, investors and regulators. Identifying potential breaches, current or historic, at the earliest stage provides the best prospect of protecting against substantial harm to businesses.
With class action lawyers in the US seeking to monetise ESG concerns for litigation against business and jurisdictions like Switzerland considering stringent laws to police conduct, it is a dangerous moment for businesses whose current or historic conduct can be called into question.
Common areas we handle include allegations around:
- Kleptocracy, bribery and state corruption;
- Labour standards, including forced and child labour;
- Environmental standards and local impact of operations;
- Failure to adhere to corporate governance standards and executive misconduct
Our understanding of how reputation creates impact for business gives us an advantage in not only using our legal skills to identify pressure points, but also in appreciating the sensitivities around issues and how stakeholders may perceive the steps businesses take.
Recent examples of our work include:
- Conducting external investigations to assess levels of risk around allegations for an international mining business.
- Working with a global consultancy to answer questions about the conduct of their business in order to answer compliance red flags raised by banks and capital markets.
- Investigating allegations of supply chain infiltration for a consumer goods business.
- Assessing allegations of inappropriate grant of contracts for a nation and advice on handling the impact.