Skip to content
Sub practice
Sub practice

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 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 right 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, and on 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: 27 JANUARY 2020

Updated Equator Principles Finalized

Updated Equator Principles with stronger standards and a broader scope were finalized in November 2019 and are set to come into effect in July 2020. 

Read more
Business and Human Rights Law and Policy - What's in store for 2020?

Publications: 17 JANUARY 2020

Business and Human Rights Law and Policy - what's in store for 2020?

The start of a new year is a good time to reflect on developments in global business and human rights (BHR) law and policy. There were significant changes in the relationship between business and society last year. Early signs suggest that the pace of change will pick up this year, particularly with respect to human rights.

Read more

Publications: 12 DECEMBER 2019

Allen & Overy publishes seventh edition of The Business and Human Rights Review

Allen & Overy’s Human Rights Working Group is pleased to announce the publication of the seventh edition of The Business and Human Rights Review.  

Read more
Coloured wool

Publications: 22 OCTOBER 2019

English jurisdiction clause binding anchor defendants decisive in court’s conclusion that England is proper forum

The High Court distinguished the Supreme Court decision of Lungowe v Vedanta Resources plc (Vedanta),1 giving more weight to the desirability of avoiding multiplicity of actions and the risk of inconsistent judgments when concluding that England was clearly the proper place to bring claims against a defendant against whom proceedings had previously been issued in Singapore. 

Read more


Download the practice brochure

Business and Human Rights Law

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.

Related content

The Business and Human Rights Review archive

The Business and Human Rights Review is an interdisciplinary journal that brings together academia, business, NGOs and multilateral bodies to debate issues surrounding the relationship between business and human rights. It is published by Allen & Overy’s Human Rights Working Group.