The firm has formalized its ESG legal capabilities with nearly 60 transactional, environmental, corporate, regulatory and disputes lawyers from across the firm’s 30 offices, supporting clients across a range of industries in the face of intensifying compliance and stakeholder obligations.
The interdisciplinary team is advising clients on all aspects of environmental, social and governance issues. The firm is particularly focused on governance, which is seen as the linchpin for ensuring that clients’ ESG plans, compliance efforts and reporting systems are robust, transparent and ethical while satisfying stakeholders’ expectations for accountability.
The launch of Reed Smith’s ESG practice formalizes the firm’s longstanding offering to clients to support and advise on their environmental, social and governance requirements.
Over the years, Reed Smith has advised on hundreds of ESG matters. Recent notable examples include advising:
- A publicly traded mining company on its pioneering roadmap to net zero (view case study)
- A multinational investment bank on creating a contract that facilitates the trade of Swiss allowances alongside EU allowances, in anticipation of Phase IV of the EU ETS
- Energy generators; automotive, chemical and telecommunication manufacturers; fuel service providers; and many others on integrated environmental permit issues
- NatWest Markets on financing a €2.3 billion ESG-linked credit facility (view case study)
- Gavi on a groundbreaking malaria vaccine financing agreement (view case study)
- A UBS-affiliated fund manager on the formation of a $400 million fund focusing on impact investments in Asian health care-related businesses
- A large nonprofit on the formation of a fund to make loans to microfinance institutions to facilitate the delivery of products and services designed to promote women’s health
- A global conglomerate on Modern Slavery corporate obligations across all of its operating jurisdictions (view case study)
- On a new international finance facility for education, working with potential sovereign donors and multilateral development banks
- A global executive search company on the establishment of DE&I objectives and the preparation of sustainability reports with a focus on DE&I reporting
The team will be led by partners Claude Brown (London), Daja Apetz-Dreier (Munich), David Boutcher (London), Hagen Rooke (Singapore), Jennifer Smokelin (Pittsburgh), Tyree Jones (Washington, D.C.) and Yves Melin (Brussels). They each have extensive experience advising clients on ESG matters.
Brown said: “ESG is now a permanent and important fixture on the corporate agenda, but a key issue our clients continue to face is a lack of global convergence on ESG regulations, principles, initiatives and reporting standards. We have formed this team to ensure that we are providing the very best support from our leading lawyers across the globe, tapping into the regional insight and industry experience from the wider team will prove a huge asset to clients.”
Jones commented: “Reed Smith has a proven pedigree in leading on best practices for corporate governance and efforts to improve social mobility and social justice across the globe. It is something that we take great pride in and it differentiates us from many other firms in the market. We are incredibly well placed to support our clients in these areas.”
Smokelin added: “Reed Smith has an excellent track record advising our clients on their environmental legal obligations and sustainability ambitions. With the recent launch of the firm’s global environmental sustainability plan, we are on the same journey as our clients to becoming more sustainable and as such are now even better placed to advise them.”
In May 2022, Reed Smith launched its global environmental sustainability plan. With measurable and transparent targets, the plan underpins the firm’s continuing commitment to evolving its operations and behaviors to drive lasting environmental sustainability within the firm, its communities and the legal industry.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a dynamic international law firm dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward. With an inclusive culture and innovative mindset, we deliver smarter, more creative legal services that drive better outcomes for our clients. Our deep industry knowledge, long-standing relationships and collaborative structure make us the go-to partner for complex disputes, transactions and regulatory matters. Now celebrating more than 140 years of service, our firm spans 30 offices with 3,000 people, including 1,700 lawyers.
For more information, please visit reedsmith.com.