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Matthew Townsend

Partner

London

Townsend Matthew
Matthew Townsend

Partner

London

Matt is co-head of the International Environmental, Climate and Regulatory Law Groups at Allen & Overy and one of the founders of the firm’s Global ESG Group. He also co-heads the International Trade Group. Matt advises on a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters including sustainability and ESG; climate transition programmes; decarbonisation; environmental risk management; product compliance and safety; carbon pricing/trading; corporate reporting and disclosure; governance and risk management; international trade law; sanctions and export controls. He has worked extensively with clients to develop compliance programmes across a broad range of regulatory and risk areas.

Matt has practised in environmental and climate law for over 26 years and has been recognised as a leading practitioner in his field for many years. He is a regular commentator on new and emerging developments. 

Matt works with major international clients across jurisdictions and in multiple sectors including financial services, energy, industrials, chemicals, technology and many more. 

He is widely recognised as one of Europe’s leading regulatory compliance lawyers.

Related articles

A winding road running through an autumn forest

Publications: 19 May 2022

Industry Perspectives: Trade finance and the ESG revolution

The trade finance market is undergoing a radical transformation in terms of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). In this Industry Perspective, two lawyers at Allen & Overy – Niels de…

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Publications: 18 May 2022

The Queen’s Speech May 2022: upcoming changes to business compliance requirements in the UK

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Publications: 22 March 2022

Great Fund Insights: New ESMA Sustainable Finance Roadmap - What you need to know

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Publications: 17 March 2022

Webinar recordings: International sanctions – what next?

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Experience highlights

Office

London

Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
London
E1 6AD

View office →

Qualifications

Professional

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 1996

Academic

BA (Hons), University of Birmingham, 1992

Diploma, Law, The College Of Law, York, 1993

Diploma, Legal Practice, The College Of Law, York, 1994

Other noteworthy experience 

  • He is a member of the FLMC’s ESG Working Group, the City of London Law Society’s environmental working group and UKELA, a member of an Advisory Board to the EBRD on ESG guidelines for companies in the CEE region, advising Editor of Environmental Liability journal and a member of the Executive Committee of the Legal Sustainability Alliance.

Pro bono 

  • Ambassador for Hope and Homes for Children
  • Executive member of the Legal Sector Alliance

Published work

  • Co-editor: "REACH - Best Practice Guide to Regulation 1907/2006" (Hart/Beck)
  • Contributor: "Project Finance" by G. Vinter (Sweet & Maxwell)
  • Contributor: "EPC Contracts and Major Projects" by N. Pritchard (Sweet & Maxwell)
  • Matt is a regular speaker and commentator on business compliance issues.

Recognition

Awards & accolades

Thought Leader Global Elite

Who’s Who Legal 2022 (Environment, Climate Change and Trade & Customs)

Hall of Fame

Legal 500 UK 2022 (Environment)

Band One

Chambers UK 2022 (Environment and Climate Change)

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