We also advise on other regulatory issues such as anti-bribery, modern slavery the circular economy and packaging waste.
We support clients to incorporate ESG into board strategies, operations and business relationships.
How we assist clients with ESG issues?
We help clients with their reporting and disclosure requirements and provide transactional support for ESG-focused investments and acquisitions, particularly in respect of ESG due diligence.
Our ESG team provides internal compliance and health checks, advises on and implements best practice governance and human capital policies and procedures and supply chain monitoring to ensure business strategies are informed by ESG metrics.
We also offer advice on ESG related metrics that may be implemented into remuneration packages or which may otherwise impact on company valuation.
Our longstanding experience advising boards and investors on shareholder engagement and activism means we understand the strategies used by activists to drive change through ESG, particularly in the context of resolutions proposed to advance net zero transition.
Our ESG specialists cover all of the following areas:
- Impact on nature, deforestation and biodiversity (TNFD reporting)
- Land use
- Raw material sourcing
- Water use
- Conflict zones and conflict minerals
- Packaging material
- Electronic waste
- The Circular Economy
- Toxic waste, contamination and pollution
- Climate change vulnerability (TCFD reporting)
- Energy consumption and efficiency
- Carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions
- Clean tech
- Renewable energy
- Workforce management and employment standards
- Zero hours contracts
- Equal pay
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Social Mobility
- Human capital development
- Modern day slavery, child labour and supply chain management
- Health & Safety
- Product safety and liability
- Chemical safety
- Financial product safety
- Privacy and data security and supply chain management
- Engagement with the workforce
- CSR and engagement with the community
Shareholders’ reporting, rights and engagement
- Board independence, quality and skills, structure, diversity
- Board retention, tenure and succession planning
- Directors’ conflicts of interest and overboarding
- Corporate Governance Code/Wates Principles
- Listing Rules/FSMA/Prospectus Regulation Rules/DTR compliance
- Companies Act 2006 compliance
- Executive remuneration, share schemes
- Gender/ethnicity pay gap reporting
- ESG metrics linked to remuneration
- Financial reporting and annual reports (including non-financial reporting requirements such as taxonomy regulation, SDR, ISSB standards, CSRD, SFDR. CSDD)
- Net zero planning
- Energy security and cost management
- Financing for change in strategy for climate vulnerability and other environmental impact
- Alternative finance sources
- Sustainable procurement
- Supply chain assessment
- Performance enhancement
- Forensic accounting / investigation
- Taxes strategy and transparency
- Risk, audit, remuneration, social impact
- Stability of financial systems
- Materiality assessment
- Risk and controls matrix
- Price sensitive information
- Anti bribery and corruption policy
- ESG data capture and reporting
Our recent experience includes:
Environmental and Sustainability
- Advising manufacturing clients on the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions including in relation to the stewardship of contaminated assets.
- Advising a global manufacturer of soft drinks on packaging waste compliance, including in relation to the impending deposit return schemes across Scotland, Ireland and the rest of the UK.
- Advising Royal Mail on the development of its ESG strategy and installation of electric charging infrastructure through permitted development rights.
- Advising companies operating in several sectors (food, fashion, manufacturing, logistics, etc.) on developing their sustainable business strategy and drafting sustainability reports.
- Advising Winch Energy on an off-grid renewable energy project in Sierra Leone. The project has enabled 12 villages and towns to receive low carbon energy 24 hours and the project will ultimately connect more than 4,000 homes and businesses to a reliable electricity source, stimulating enterprise and sustainable agricultural activity.
- Advising a group of activist shareholders on potential ESG litigation relating to improper reporting of ESG credentials.
- Helping the UK leadership team of a US oil company to begin formulating an inclusion and diversity vision and strategy relevant for its workplace.
- Assisting an international company in relation to the collection of diversity and inclusion data in 20 countries, project managing the advice and presenting it in a table format.
- Policy checks – reviewing policies from an inclusion and diversity perspective. These included diversity and inclusion policies as well as leave policies, whistleblowing policies, grievance policies and codes of conduct.
- Providing bespoke training to various companies on "Respect in the Workplace".
- Sharing best practice with an international accountancy firm and 200 mentors and mentees on setting up a mentoring and reverse mentoring programme.
- Helping clients create action plans following data capture including in relation to gender pay.
- Carrying out an investigation on behalf of an international client who received a complaint of sexual harassment and helping defend litigation and resolve matters.
- Implementing whistleblowing programs and advising on the implementation of effective reporting lines
- Advising a number of clients on the establishment of a variety of social enterprises and ethical corporate structures including:
- The conversion and certification of companies as a B Corporations;
- The establishment of community interest companies and other not for profit structures;
- The transition of businesses to employee owned structures through a trust structure for the benefit of employees; and
- Establishing charities and charitable foundations.
- Advising on board structure and composition including terms of reference for board committees such as audit, risk, nominations, sustainability and for dealing with procedures with respect to cyber security risks and price sensitive information.
- Advising clients on non-financial reporting requirements, strategic report requirements, Companies Act, UK Corporate Governance Code, Listing Rule and DTR annual reporting requirements.
- Advising board of directors on divestment strategy following successful activist shareholder campaign
- Advising activist investor and boards on various campaigns to requisition a general meeting, remove and appoint directors.
- Advising and assisting the Chairman and board of directors with respect to the conduct of AGMs where disruption is anticipated.
- Conducting and reporting on Due diligence with respect to investments in and acquisitions of ESG assets.
- Advising boards and / or investors with respect to derivative action claims against directors for breach of duty and/or claims for misrepresentation with respect to ESG claims.
- Assisting a leading Formula One team to review and implement a bespoke compliance programme including in relation to risk management, sustainability, financial crime, health and safety, sanctions, data privacy, culture and I&D.
- Advising the Financial Reporting Council, the author of the UK Corporate Governance Code, on reforming its constitutional and governance structure, reworking its constitution and creating new executive committees.
- Advising Macquarie on investment in a cyber-threat analysis technology platform, requiring global regulatory advice
- Advising Royal Mail, Royal London, Runway Innovations Limited and Go-Ahead on planning related net –zero matters as well as climate litigation.