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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.


Publications: 29 OCTOBER 2020

A first step towards EU-wide legislation on mandatory human rights due diligence

The concept of mandatory supply chain due diligence has been under consideration at the EU level in 2020.  The European Commission published a study on the subject in February 2020, announced that it…

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Publications: 28 OCTOBER 2020

New sustainable corporate governance requirements on the horizon

Mandatory supply chain due diligence, clarification of directors’ duties and changes to directors’ remuneration are being considered by the European Commission.

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Publications: 20 OCTOBER 2020

Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Laws: Germany takes another step towards global value chain regulation

Germany is taking another step on the road to mandatory human rights due diligence legislation. In July, two federal ministries published a Term Sheet for a German “Federal Bill on the Strengthening…

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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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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.