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Business and Human Rights Law

Business and human rights regulatory compliance and litigation risks are becoming core concerns for many businesses wherever they operate. Our team helps clients navigate increasingly complex and sometimes competing legal requirements in this area.

One of the few specialist business and human rights (BHR) practices in the world, with nearly two decades of experience, our team supports clients throughout all stages of their businesses. We work with our clients as partners, investing time to understand your business objectives and needs and finding solutions to enable you to meet your responsibilities to respect human rights and aspirations to make a positive social impact.

We advise on regulatory and litigation risks, as well as implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other social performance standards. Key aspects of our practice include:

  • designing human rights policies and compliance systems to respond to the evolving expectations of stakeholders, investors, business partners, courts and regulators
  • advising on effective governance practices, corporate culture and management structures
  • setting appropriate human rights performance targets, developing performance monitoring systems and assisting with corporate reporting and communications
  • representing clients in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings before State courts
  • proceedings before the OECD National Contact Points; as well as in international commercial and investor-State arbitrations raising BHR issues
  • advising on human rights-related internal and external investigations, the management of crises, engagement with governments and civil society and the defence of enforcement actions
  • providing transactional support and assisting with human rights due diligence
  • developing operational level grievance mechanisms and whistle-blowing procedures.

Our broad and extensive geographical reach, together with a network of specialist local firms, means we can provide comprehensive advice in any domestic jurisdiction, on both public and private international law. We publish the market-leading publication in BHR law, the Business and Human Rights Review, and can keep you abreast of the latest BHR initiatives, legislative developments and litigation around the globe.

News & Insights

Publications: 05 OCTOBER 2020

US Supreme Court to consider scope of the Alien Tort Statute

There is an important business and human rights case on the docket of the US Supreme Court, which begins its next term on 5 October 2020.  The Court has agreed to determine the contested scope of the…

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Publications: 02 SEPTEMBER 2020

Mandatory human rights due diligence laws: the Netherlands led the way in addressing child labour and contemplates broader action

There is growing momentum worldwide among governments to require companies to undertake human rights due diligence.  The Netherlands took the lead with respect to the specific issue of child labour,…

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Publications: 12 MAY 2020

Nevsun Resources Ltd. v Araya: Canadian Supreme Court confirms that Eritreans can seek legal redress against Canadian parent company for alleged violations of customary international law

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the Court of Appeal's decision in Nevsun Resources Ltd. v Araya 2020 SCC 5, ruling that a claim for alleged breaches of domestic torts and customary…

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Publications: 18 MARCH 2020

Mining company not liable for unlawful acts of Sierra Leonean police

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has upheld the High Court’s verdict in Kadie Kalma & ors v African Minerals Ltd & ors [2020] EWCA Civ 144.  This is an important case for businesses exposed to…

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Allen & Overy’s Global Business & Human Rights Law Group integrates lawyers from across the firm to provide both transactional and stand alone advice, as well as dispute resolution services in all areas of BHR law at national, regional and international levels.