Combating growing risk
The potential for disputes arising out of the growing focus on ESG is broad in reach and a real risk for central and local governments and businesses across a wider range of sectors.
The ever-growing use of ESG metrics in government and corporate decision-making coupled with increasing regulation and societal cognizance has fundamentally increased the likelihood of there being both the basis for litigation and this being pursued.
We work with our clients to ensure that they are ready to face these risks, able to respond effectively to any specific litigation risks which may arise and robustly protect our clients in any such litigation they may face.
ESG litigation risk assessment
What are the particular ESG legal risks your business or organisation faces? The answer to this question will be different depending on the type of business or organisation you are and the sector(s) in which you operate.
Answering this question is the first essential step in mitigating and attempting to reduce potential litigation exposure and risk.
We can help you to identify the primary areas of risk for your organisation, assess the processes and procedures you have in place to and whether they are sufficient to meet those risks. We can undertake a review of any business-critical contracts or agreements and provide our recommendations for how to improve your risk profile.
This enables organisations to stress test and verify their public position and provide senior management with the necessary security and comfort that is desired or an action plan to achieve that security and comfort.
Government policy, legislation and societal expectations will continue to evolve over time. We can assist you with getting ahead of and preparing for those changes so that you can ensure the long-term sustainability and success of your organisation.
Regulations are coming down the line for all sizes of organisations. With the growth in the regulatory landscape comes an ever-increasing chance of falling foul of such regulations. We can help to keep your business abreast of these changes and how to meet any challenges they present.
Protecting your interests
Preparation and taking steps to mitigation or reduce risks is, sadly, sometimes not enough.
Causes of action arising in the context of ESG are broad in potential scope including:
- Tortious claims such as in negligence, nuisance, conversion of property, and / or trespass to the person);
- Claims under the Human Rights Act 1998, arising out of supply chains or corporate policy;
- Claims under consumer protection legislation,
- Securities claims against issuers who may have been alleged to have misled investors about ESG related risks under section 90 or 90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or failure in relation to disclosure of climate-related financial information;
- Claims based on alleged breaches of directors’ duties under the Companies Act 2006 (for example claiming a failure to divest away from fossil fuels or to take necessary carbon emissions reduction steps);
- Administrative law claims, such as planning decision challenges in respect of climate change commitments affecting infrastructure projects or environmental permits and approvals;
- Equitable claims, such as claims of unjust enrichment and/or breach of fiduciary duties by directors or trustees); and
- Criminal claims such as in relation to cybercrime, data breaches, facilitating modern slavery or child labour, money laundering or acquiring criminal property.
Whatever the type and nature of the threat or dispute, we have the experience, strength and depth to successfully defend and protect your organisation, whether you are seeking to enforce your rights or defend them.
ESG risk assessment
Understanding the way your business operates and its underlying governance are fundamental to resilience, future success and brand value. We can work with you to identify the primary legal risks facing your business and ways and actions you can take to proactively mitigate and/or reduce those risks.
Our work is tailored to meet your specific needs and requirements. Our experts can work with you to establish your ESG policies through to conducting specific risk assessment and/or analysis of specific areas of your organisation. The initial stage is a meeting at one of our offices or online to discuss your specific goals, practices and drivers and to agree a roadmap for successfully assessing your organisation's specific ESG risks and proposed mitigation steps.
What it will help you to achieve
Alignment of your business with responsible business and ESG principles and integrating them into your policies will add real and perceived value to your organisation and make your business more robust and better able to withstand the ever-changing ESG landscape.