It could be argued that the majority of the risks arising from ESG issues are commercial, rather than strictly legal. But the increasing level of ESG regulation increases the risk of falling foul of these.
ESG litigation has so far mostly focused on climate change or environmental events. While it's likely this will continue to predominate, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been to increase the focus on social issues, such as diversity within the workforce, and the management of supply chains.
It's also likely that as ESG matters continue to grow in importance, the number of ESG litigation matters will increase. There is a range of litigation that can emanate from ESG issues and business management teams should consider carefully whether they have the required understanding of ESG matters and the necessary expertise, or access to expertise, to manage these issues. This expertise is essential to implement robust risk-management frameworks, including in relation to public disclosures.
We have significant ESG and sustainability expertise and our team are experts in regulatory and internal investigations, enforcement actions and disciplinary proceedings. We regularly advise on allegations involving environmental liability and human rights issues, bribery and corruption and fraud.
Our team represents clients before courts and tribunals, where they face alleged ESG claims. We also help businesses avoid disputes through developing early warning systems and remediation processes.