Practice Areas

Responsible Business

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We advise companies and investors on the full range of environmental, social and governance issues, helping them turn challenges into business opportunities.

The business world is subject to an ever-growing wave of demands that are forcing managers to look well beyond their normal horizons. These demands result from the pressure exerted by investors, consumers, employees and governments for companies to consider a set of interests that go beyond simply maximising shareholder profit, and they involve environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

This new reality brings a wide range of additional risks that can result in substantial negative impacts, specifically in terms of legal liability, reputational damage, and loss of business. The risks are complex, and they are aggravated when business operations have an international dimension or involve a multiplicity of relationships in their value chain. But it also brings opportunities and leadership in the various ESG factors creates a new way to stand out from the competition and to improve performance while looking beyond traditional economic performance benchmarks.

Our Responsible Business practice is focused on Social and sustainable finance, Business and human rights and Business ethics.

 

Social and sustainable finance:

The growing demand for investments that consider their social impact has broaden the sources of financing for sustainable or transitional investment available to companies. From an issuers’ perspective, it is crucial to choose the right metrics and to establish the most appropriate reporting model for the business.

Asset management has a special importance in increasing general access to financial products linked to ESG metrics and it plays a key role in making sure issuers of financial products keep up with best practices. To this end, it is essential to have the right process to incorporate ESG factors into investment decisions and to incorporate ESG criteria into all asset management processes.

We support clients on:

  • Issuance of green bonds, sustainability linked bonds and transition bonds
  • Setting up social entrepreneurship companies and funds, and providing assistance with their impact investments
  • Setting up collective investment undertakings with investment policies that include ESG criteria

 

Business and human rights

The conduct expected of companies includes protecting human rights, avoiding their violation and preventing any adverse impacts their activity might have on human rights.

The existence of robust policies and processes that identify, prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on human rights is an increasingly central factor in protecting the value of the different aspects of the company. This is the only way to demonstrate a commitment to human rights, including through internal due diligence processes, impact assessments and compliance systems.

We support clients on:

  • Compliance programmes
  • Human rights policies
  • Human rights reporting, including non-financial reporting
  • Human rights impact assessment
  • Human rights due diligence, including for the supply chain and other partners
  • Investigation of events and crisis management involving human rights
  • Representation in human rights litigation
  • Corporate and human rights training programmes
  • Establishment of remediation programmes

 

Business ethics

The growing consensus among business stakeholders is that mere compliance with legal rules is not enough to meet the requirements of integrity. Moreover, legal rules often use vague concepts and ethics are useful in putting into effect the practices that are required.

The use of ethical standards is essential in managing risks and preventing them from arising in the first place. Compliance programmes are not sufficient if they are not backed up by a strong organizational culture and this is very clear if we look at the greatest corporate scandals. Top level of management i must establish an ethical culture that helps employees make the best choices and be aware if they are falling short of best practice.

We support clients on:

  • Internal procedures, including codes of ethics and conduct
  • Review of compliance programmes and internal culture
  • Training programmes
  • Analysis of situations of conflicts of interest and establishment of remedial programmes
  • Corporate governance due diligence

Specialisations

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