ESG disputes

In this era of heightened ESG awareness, the landscape offers both increased risks of ESG-related litigation and significant opportunities for gaining a competitive edge through the adoption of compliance best practices.

We advocate for global businesses, not only offering effective resolutions to intricate and high-value ESG disputes and investigations but also working proactively to prevent them through expert guidance on regulatory compliance and risk management. Our comprehensive legal services are meticulously crafted to uphold the integrity of your organisation and elevate your commitment to responsible business practices.

Areas of focus

  • Director duties: We work with boards to help them understand how ESG-considerations are linked to director' legal duties and how ESG-risks and opportunities may impact on their strategic decision-making. We advise directors on the legal and regulatory risks related to greenwashing, the scope of their statutory duties, and the risks of derivative actions by shareholders, as well as providing training on ESG compliance and stakeholder management.
  • Reporting and disclosures: We advise clients on compliance with ESG-related reporting and disclosure requirements, limiting the potential for misleading disclosure claims or regulator action and standing by clients to successfully resolve disputes when they arise. 
  • Crisis management: ESG issues can quickly turn into crisis events. We help embed ESG compliance into businesses to reduce the risk of crises occurring and act swiftly to support clients when things go wrong, including guiding clients through complex and sensitive investigations and proceedings while protecting value and managing stakeholders. 
  • Environmental and climate change litigation: We act for clients in environmental and climate change related-litigation, including consumer and group litigation. 
  • Green claims: We work with clients to ensure sustainability-related statements are genuine and legally sound. Our international team advises on the legal frameworks for green claims across jurisdictions and sectors, minimising the risks of regulatory scrutiny, successfully resolving greenwashing claims and litigation, and safeguarding your reputation. 
  • Carbon credit disputes: Carbon markets have a key role in global efforts to address the climate crisis but their complexities pose risks and challenges. We bring proven experience and expertise to resolving disputes relating to carbon credits, including litigation arising from carbon credit transactions, mis-selling and mis-representation claims, and greenwashing action brought by regulators or consumers. 
  • ESG arbitration: Our international team works with clients to resolve ESG disputes through arbitration, including claims arising from ESG clauses in commercial contracts and claims based on investment treaties. 
  • Product liability and product safety: We are known as leaders in the field of product liability and safety, regularly advising products businesses on the defence of product liability litigation, product recalls, and all aspects of product compliance from labelling to environmental regulations such as packaging waste, WEEE, and REACH. 
  • Supply chain disputes: We work with clients to identify and mitigate ESG risks within their value and supply chains and to resolve disputes relating to the ESG credentials of supply chain parties.
  • Health and safety: We help you to prioritise the health and safety of your employees and customers with our guidance on legal and regulatory compliance, as well as providing swift and effective advice when health and safety incidents or allegations arise. 
  • Cybersecurity and data protection: We specialise in data and cyber issues, working with clients to resolve complex disputes and investigations.
  • Assurance: With ESG accounting and reporting practices coming under increasing scrutiny, our market leading team advises accountants, auditors and other professional service firms on compliance with regulatory requirements and acts swiftly to resolve disputes and guide clients through investigations and enforcement proceedings when issues arise.
  • Distressed restructuring: In distressed situations, potential lenders, buyers, and investors are increasingly looking at a company's ESG credentials as well as its balance sheet. We work with clients to identify ESG risks in a distressed context and to improve overall resilience or divest parts of the business with weak ESG performance.
  • ESG investigations: Our investigations assess a company's adherence to responsible and sustainable practices, crucial for building trust, safeguarding reputation, and ensuring long-term business sustainability.

Responsible business

We're committed to being a responsible business and taking accountability for our actions.

Learn more about our responsible business programme: 

Responsible business in the UK

Responsible business in Germany

Financial services regulatory

Financial services matters - May 2024

9 May 2024
In-depth analysis

by multiple authors

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