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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: 25 FEBRUARY 2021

Okpabi: Supreme Court rules that Nigerian communities can sue Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary in England

Okpabi and others (Appellants) v Royal Dutch Shell Plc and another (Respondents) [2021] UKSC 3, 12 February 2021.

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Publications: 10 FEBRUARY 2021

Shaping the future: The increasing influence of human rights on business

Sustainability has become one of the main points of attention for governments, investors, corporates and consumers alike – all of whom increasingly demand that environmental, social and governance…

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Publications: 06 JANUARY 2021

The EU adopts a new global human rights sanctions regime

In a much-anticipated move, on 7 December 2020, the Council of the European Union adopted a Council Decision and a Council Regulation establishing the EU’s global human rights sanctions regime (the…

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Publications: 10 DECEMBER 2020

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

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

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Read our Business and Human rights articles

Distinction

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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.