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Environmental, Social and Governance

Today’s investors are looking for ways to put their capital to work in a sustainable way, one focused on avoiding harm to people and the planet and creating long-term value through socially desirable activities.

Financial services, insurance and other professionals must now find their way around a rapidly evolving landscape of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and assess businesses according to their ESG characteristics in order to support investors who wish to make socially responsible investment decisions. Allen & Overy has the subject matter expertise to guide you safely through the increasingly legal ESG landscape.

Our ESG team’s advice is informed by decades of collective experience in environmental, social and governance matters, and by tracking the latest developments in ESG-related regulation and litigation around the world.  We bring together global expertise in specialist practice areas in Environmental Law, Business and Human Rights, Sustainable Finance, Corporate Governance, Employee Engagement and Data protection and Cybersecurity, as well as Consulting Services.

The group's experience will enable you to take advantage of ESG-related business opportunities by helping you find ways to integrate ESG factors into your due diligence practices, portfolio analysis and investment decisions; design and roll out financial products that have a positive social or environmental impact; and monitor and report on your successes in a manner that meets regulatory requirements. 

We can also help you navigate the ESG landscape and help you find ways to identify risks across your portfolio; avoid involvement in adverse ESG impacts; assess the ESG related credit and other risks of your potential clients; gain a competitive advantage as regulation and litigation develops; design and roll out compliance processes and contractual mechanisms to mitigate risks; and obtain assurance and develop reports on your ESG performance. 

News & insights

Publications: 04 JUNE 2021

Dutch Court orders Shell to reduce CO2 emissions by 45%

On 26 May 2021, the Court of The Hague rendered a landmark decision in proceedings between Milieudefensie (a.o.) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS). Milieudefensie claimed, in short, that RDS must reduce…

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Trees

News: 14 APRIL 2021

Allen & Overy signs the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations: The Green Pledge

Allen & Overy is proud to have signed the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations: The Green Pledge, and in doing so formally commits its International Arbitration Group to reducing its environmental…

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Aerial shot - several ice bergs in blue water with small canoe floating in the middle

News: 02 APRIL 2021

A&O to host a virtual conference on the global transition to a sustainable economy

The transition of the economy to align with the Paris Agreement aims and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is set to dominate the next decade.

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Bird's eye view of a tropical beach next to a forest

Publications: 18 MARCH 2021

Framing securities lending for the sustainability era: ISLA-A&O white paper

Sustainability has become a key issue in financial services. In our joint white paper published with the International Securities Lending Association (ISLA), we have examined how securities lending…

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Transition to a sustainable economy

Aerial shot - several ice bergs in blue water with small canoe floating in the middle

Sustainability and ESG (environment, social and governance) issues are rising to the top of the agenda.

The transition of the economy to align with the Paris Agreement aims and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is set to dominate the next decade. Explore our insights on developments in the key themes in the sustainability transition.

Areas in which we assist clients

Risk management and strategy

Risk management and strategy

  • Assist in developing ESG policies and practices
  • Draft ESG management plans and codes of conduct for projects and transactions
  • Design bespoke contractual mechanisms and dispute resolution clauses to permit leverage and exit
  • Advise Board and C-Suite on regulatory landscape and litigation risks
Due diligence

Due diligence

  • Scan transactions and lending to identify potential ESG impacts throughout value/supply chain
  • Conduct structured ESG due diligence and impact assessments on high-risk projects, transactions and lending
Reporting

Reporting

  • Assess effectiveness of responses to ESG impacts, provide metrics and analysis and design alternative strategies
  • Draft strategic reports, sustainability and modern slavery reports
Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution

  • Design grievance mechanisms as early warning systems and remediation processes
  • Dispute resolution: we represent clients before courts and tribunals, where they face claims involving alleged environmental, social and governance abuses
Sustainable finance

Sustainable finance

  • Advise on all aspects of sustainable finance, from corporate green loans or bonds and sustainable supply chain financing, to financing renewable energy projects
  • Develop standards for products such as green or social impact bonds and loans

Awards & accolades

  • Best Green/SRI Law Firm, Global Capital Sustainable and Responsible
  • Capital Markets Awards 2017
  • European Regulatory Team of the Year 2018, IFLR Europe 2018
  • Tier One for Disputes Resolution, Chambers Global 2020
  • Tier One for Regulatory – Environment, Chambers Europe-wide 2019
 

Recognition

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) brochure

Bird's eye view of a forest of evergreen trees

Learn more about our global expertise in specialist practice areas in Environmental Law, Business and Human Rights, Sustainable Finance, Corporate Governance, Employee Engagement and Data protection and Cybersecurity, as well as Consulting Services.

Directors' Liability Report

Directors' Liability Report

We explore the personal accountability faced by company directors at a time when regulators and enforcement agencies have management in their sights.