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 can better reflect the range of environmental and regulatory concerns surfacing in the public consciousness around climate change, biodiversity, and social and regulatory issues.

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.

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 Prospect Law’s ESG Advice

The key areas of ESG we advise on from both a legal and technical perspective are set out below:

Environmental:

  • Environmental policy review
  • Climate Change, COP-26 and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions
  • Nature Conservation issues
  • Resource Depletion, including deforestation and water use
  • Hazardous waste, air and water pollution
  • Energy transition, net-zero, sustainability and the avoidance of Green Washing

Social:

  • Working conditions including slavery and child labour
  • Human Resources (HR) issues including discrimination in the workplace, diversity and inclusion
  • Conflict, Creation of Shared Value, and Local and Indigenous Communities
  • Health and Safety at work
  • Employee Relations
  • Community Consultation, Involvement and Benefit

Governance:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML), anti-bribery and anti-corruption
  • Political Lobbying and Donations
  • Shareholders Rights
  • Transparent Accounting and Tax Strategy
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Board composition, independence and diversity
  • Executive Compensation

ESG Client 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 Audit 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 or investors may need to be provided with a letter of reliance confirming that ESG compliance has been taken seriously.

ESG Education & Training Services

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 specific 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.

A new version of Prospect Law is available.