We use the combined experience of our senior lawyers and specialist advisers to cut through the noise surrounding ESG. We share reliable, practical information and training on ESG compliance, regulation and reporting for those looking for legal and technical guidance they can trust.
Over recent years, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues have become areas of ever-increasing focus for Prospect Law’s commercial and regulatory clients, particularly those involved in the energy and infrastructure sectors in which this firm specialises.
Growing client interest in the subject of ESG itself reflects demands being made by the media, corporate investors and the public at large for organisations to provide broader compliance and accounts reporting systems which better reflect the range of environmental and regulatory concerns surfacing in the public consciousness around climate change, biodiversity, and social and regulatory issues. This increase in demand means ESG is no longer a “nice-to-have” feature of commercial life, but an essential area of compliance, which has the capacity to profoundly affect a company’s risk profile and financial success.
In truth, we find that many organisations we deal with are currently unclear on what exactly ESG means, what the implications may be of the fast-changing ESG regulatory landscape, and what they therefore need to consider and to cover off from a compliance and risk management perspective.
This knowledge gap and uncertainty amongst clients seems particularly apparent for financial services sector organisations where pension funds, asset managers and others seem on the one hand to be increasingly alive to the need to grapple with ESG related issues, but also uncertain as to how exactly to go about doing so, or what the potential implications may be of compliance, or non-compliance, in terms of their regulatory standing.
How we can help
We can assist clients to shape robust, practical and user friendly ESG policies and procedures; we can provide clients with objective ESG audits to be presented to interested third parties and stakeholders; and we can bring to bear Prospect Law’s Education and Training division to assist clients with a range of courses to bring management and staff up to date with ESG related issues as these evolve.
Key areas of ESG
The key areas of ESG we advise on from both a legal and technical perspective are set out below:
- Environmental: greenhouse gas emissions, nature conservation and biodiversity, resource depletion, hazardous waste, air and water pollution, net-zero transition policy, avoidance of greenwashing
- Social: anti-slavery & child labour, human resources policy including discrimination in the workplace, diversity & inclusion, health & safety, conflict & CSR, employee relations, community involvement & charitable activities
- Governance: anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, lobbying and donations, shareholder rights, transparent accounting, tax strategy, data protection & privacy, board composition, diversity and independence, executive compensation.
ESG Advisory Services
We are able to advise clients on a one-off or an ongoing basis, to shape the evolution of ESG policies, to provide ESG due diligence on specific projects or transactions, and to provide targeted training courses covering the developing ESG landscape.
• Training at board, senior management and junior levels and enterprise-wide scenario-based tests
• Review of existing policies and redrafting of policies when required
• Liaison with regulatory bodies
• Review of reporting lines
• Analysis of investments and supply chains for ESG compliance
• Review of liabilities for actions of subsidiaries
• Advice on and assistance with meeting the standards of ESG compliance regimes such as the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
• Identification of and advice on forthcoming regulations affecting ESG compliance
• Preparation of reports for shareholders and investors demonstrating ESG compliance
• Periodic monitoring of operations and investments to ensure continual compliance
ESG Auditing Service
We can provide clients with an independent ESG auditing and due diligence service, either on the performance of an organisation or its services, on specific policies, or for business development proposals or projects where third-party regulatory organisations, insurers, the media or investors may need to be provided with a degree of assurance that ESG compliance has been taken seriously.
ESG Education and Training
We offer a wide range of courses which are designed to assist our clients, to inform management and staff about the rapidly evolving ESG landscape, and where necessary, to bring them up to date on a regular basis with developments regarding ESG compliance and risk management issues. We can design bespoke courses for individual, regulatory and corporate clients which cover either targeted areas of ESG or the broader range of ESG related issues. We have appointed Ben Robinson who has over 20 years of experience in developing and managing the provision of courses to assist clients with their training needs.
Leading ESG Experts
Prospect Law’s multi-disciplinary approach allows the firm to bring together specialist lawyers, technical consultants and trainers with many decades’ worth of expertise in the key legal and regulatory disciplines which are required to advise clients on ESG related issues.
We have recently appointed Dr Jacqueline Faridani to head up our ESG advisory service. Jacqueline is an expert in financial compliance and risk management, the holder of a D.Phil in particle physics, as well as a masters degree in mathematical finance and a certificate in quantitative finance (CQF). She has many years of experience dealing with compliance and risk management issues within the international financial services sector, including for the Canadian financial regulator. Jacqueline will coordinate the firm’s ESG project and advisory work together with one of the firm’s directors, Edmund Robb, who has over twenty years’ experience advising clients on environmental law matters, project developments, and a wide range of public law issues.
Together, Prospect’s team is able to advise clients on all aspects of ESG. We include brief details of some of our leading experts below:
• Senior lawyer with 25 years’ experience specialising within Government and private practice in EU and UK environmental, regulatory and energy law policy, including in-depth coverage of climate change, green recovery, energy transition, net zero and the full implications of the COP26
• Senior solicitor with 25 years’ experience in a wide variety of roles in private practice, the not-for-profit sector and as in-house general counsel with particular expertise in the renewable energy sector and in energy transition.
• Senior solicitor with specialist knowledge of environmental, health and safety and public law issues, and the editor of the Environmental Law Handbook.
• Senior solicitor and former head of legal at the National Farmers Union (NFU), a specialist in the agri-business sector with in depth experience advising clients on a wide range of regulatory issues and the impacts of environmental legislation.
• Senior solicitor with experience on all areas of contentious and non-contentious employment law.
• Senior solicitor with extensive experience in all areas of immigration law and human rights, and with a masters degree in refugee studies.
• Consultant on social license to operate based on creation of shared value initiatives (CSV), conflict, local and indigenous communities.
• Head of ESG with 20 years of experience in a variety of risk management, compliance and product control roles at different banks and life insurance companies, as well as the Canadian financial regulator.
• Senior solicitor with 25 years of experience advising major corporate and regulatory clients on the full range of corporate governance, risk management and compliance issues, and with a specialist knowledge of international data privacy regulations.
• Senior FCA accredited consultant on a wide range of insurance and risk issues, including utility scale energy projects, and extensive experience in advising governments and regulators internationally on their nuclear insurance programmes.
• Senior solicitor with expertise in regulatory law and compliance including anti-money laundering anti-bribery and corruption, and advice on civil and criminal litigation connected with allegations of regulatory breaches. A former contributor to Butterworths’ ‘Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure’.
• Education and training lead at Prospect Law with over 20 years’ experience developing and delivering a wide range of training and further education courses, particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
• Director at Prospect Law with overall responsibility for ESG projects; with over twenty years’ experience advising a wide range of commercial and regulatory clients on environmental, project development and public law issues in cases brought at all levels in the UK courts.
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