Environmental compliance and liability issues are now part of everyday life for most businesses, be they engaged in evidently hazardous activities or not.
Likewise, developments in the climate change arena are raising new challenges for the business community. Regulatory demands, however, continue to widen in response to increasingly international environmental concerns and throw up more and more compliance issues affecting both processes and products, as well as liability issues in business transactions. To steer successfully through this regulatory jungle requires specialist expertise on a global scale.
Allen & Overy’s Global Environmental Law Group includes more than 60 specialist, commercially focused environmental law experts across the world advising on all aspects of environmental law and liability. As one of the first law firms to develop a globally integrated environmental law practice, Allen & Overy is able to provide both transactional and stand alone advice in all the major areas of environmental and health and safety law at national, regional and international levels. We regularly advise clients on the management of cross-border due diligence and on contractual negotiations in relation to major international acquisitions, disposals and infrastructure projects.
Our geographic reach, including the transfer of knowledge between different offices and jurisdictions, means that we are able to keep abreast of the latest environmental initiatives and legislative developments occurring around the globe. We closely track environmental policy and regulatory developments and are in regular contact with policy makers and regulators whose work impacts our clients' interests. In addition to expertise in Allen & Overy’s own offices, by virtue of our network of specialist local firms in other jurisdictions, we can also ensure that you get high quality environmental advice wherever in the world you need it.
With a mass of new and changing legislation in this area, the boardroom has never had so much reason to pay attention to environmental issues. SEC reporting requirements (and their equivalents outside the U.S.) on environmental issues, including obligations to report on environmental proceedings, impacts and standards in annual reports and on non-compliance more generally authorities, are just a couple of examples.
Allen & Overy’s environmental law experts advise on all types of environmental disclosure requirements and associated problems, such as commercial confidentiality. Whether the issue of disclosure arises in respect of a statutory or permit based obligation, as a result of a request from a regulator, or even under pressure from interested stakeholders, Allen & Overy’s sector specific knowledge helps clients grappling with the legal and commercial implications, particularly in relation to business sensitive matters.
The ability to obtain information from Government and public bodies which may concern your business or the business of others is both a positive and negative development. We can advise on exactly what “freedom of access to information” might mean for you, and how defences, like commercial confidentiality and national security, come into play.