The Legal 500 Green Guide: United Kingdom 2024

United Kingdom 2024

A&O Shearman

Addleshaw Goddard


Bates Wells

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Burges Salmon LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton


Foot Anstey

Freeths LLP

GA Solicitors

Gowling WLG

Hausfeld & Co LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills

Hogan Lovells

Howard Kennedy LLP

J A Kemp

Leigh Day

Lux Nova Partners Limited

Maples Teesdale LLP

Mewburn Ellis LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright

Osborne Clarke

Pallas Partners LLP

Paxus LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP

Roythornes Solicitors

Sharpe Pritchard LLP

Shoosmiths LLP

Simmons & Simmons

Travers Smith LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP


Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland

UN Global Compact signatory Eversheds Sutherland stands out for its work in the clean energy as well as sustainable finance space. It is a founding member of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance and the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers, and also a signatory of the Legal Sustainability Alliance.

In a groundbreaking project, the firm recently acted for a sponsor consortium on a $80m financing of one of the first green hydrogen facilities in Egypt. The project was formally launched at COP27 and will deliver up to 15,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually.

The firm also handles corporate compliance and reporting matters, such as recently advising the trustees of the Aegon, L&G, WorkSave, Mercer and NOW:Pensions master trusts, who together have more than £30bn of assets under management, on the publishing of its first TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) report. The team will also be advising on the 2023 reports, and is assisting the clients with their net-zero commitments on an ongoing basis.

In  2023, the UK sustainable finance team launched a UK Sustainable Finance App, which, among other features, includes a product finder tool allowing users to identify the right type of sustainable finance product.

Internally, the firm’s ESG strategy team develops and implements its sustainability strategy across the business. For example, it has set Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) verified targets to reduce its scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 50% by 2030. The firm has also shown its commitment to biodiversity by partnering up with WWT to found the Blue Recovery Leaders Group, which aims to restore 100,000 hectares of wetlands in the UK.

Key individuals include the firm’s global co-head of ESG, who also leads the firm’s ESG strategy and ESG solutions teams, Manchester-based Diane Gilhooley, and the firm’s international head of energy, London-based Stephen Hill .

Harper Macleod LLP

Leading Scottish law firm Harper Macleod LLP stands out for its groundbreaking work in the areas of environmental litigation, sustainable land development, and renewables.

In environmental litigation, key contact Jennifer Jack in Edinburgh is leading the firm’s advice to Greenpeace UK in both a statutory appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session and a Judicial Review challenging consents by the UK Government to allow BP, Ithaca Energy and Shell UK to produce oil and gas from the Vorlich and Jackdaw oil and gas fields respectively. The issues raised in these cases are highly significant in the context of the climate emergency and the UK’s climate commitments.

In the sustainable land development space, Glasgow-based Tom Gray  recently assisted Forestry and Land Scotland with the major £17.6m acquisition of an 8,500 acre sporting estate in Angus to enable woodland creation, peatland restoration, and biodiversity projects.

In the energy sector, senior partner and key contact David Bone (also in Glasgow) recently acted for Foresight Energy Infrastructure on the acquisition of the project rights for a co-located pumped storage hydro plant and wind farm near KirkConnel, Dumfries, and Galloway. The innovative project, which has the potential to power more that 289,000 homes every year, stores power during periods of excess energy supply and releases stored energy at times of peak demand.

Internally, the firm seeks to achieve net zero by 2045 and has an ESG framework which includes its sustainability policy, public transport first policy, and carbon reduction plan.

Gray is a member of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, and Bone recently chaired both the 2022 Scottish Highlands Renewable Energy Conference and the judging panel at the 2022 Highlands & Islands Renewable Energy Awards.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP launched its global ESG and impact practice in 2020 with over a quarter of the team operating out of the London office. The firm assists clients with innovative compliance strategies for the upcoming EU, UK and US ESG regulations. This includes advice to private equity sponsors, as evidenced by its pro bono support to Initiative Climate International and Invest Europe, among others.

The firm is supporting leading alternative asset manager TPG on the SFDRs and proposed SEC regulations. The work has included important advice on the climate aspects of the formation of the Rise Climate Fund, which has a mandate to invest in climate change mitigation companies. For Climate Adaptive Infrastructure, a UNPRI signatory, the team assisted with the formation of the Climate Adaptive Infrastructure Fund which seeks to address the climate crisis through capital. Also of note is Pegasus Capital Advisor’s deployment of the Subnational Climate Fund and Global Fund for Coral Reefs, for which the team provided holistic advice on the application of the SFDR. 

As a member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network, the firm demonstrates its commitment to promoting environmental sustainability in the industry. Through this, the firm has supported the Earth Hour initiative which aims at reducing global power consumption. Internal steps to reduce its emissions include a collaboration with Hawkeye Energy Solutions to measure and improve energy efficiency in the firm’s data centres, which has resulted in an emissions reduction of 17,638 metric tons of CO2.

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is a leading law firm for advice on natural capital and regularly supports clients making a positive impact on environmental and habitat protection.

In a current example, a cross-disciplinary corporate team based in Exeter and Bristol is advising the Environment Bank on a pioneering solution which entails the creation of natural habitats for biodiversity net gain and selling this to developers as credits.

The Bristol-based agriculture group is acting for Clinton Devon Estates in the structuring and drafting of a partnership agreement with the Environment Agency to deliver the £15m Lower Otter Restoration Project. The project aims to adapt and improve the downstream section of the river Otter and work with nature pre-emptively in adapting to climate change. Head of the natural capital practice Ben Sharples’ sustainability expertise has been integral to the deal.

Sharples also led advice to the Forestry Commission on one of the first nutrient neutrality deals to be finalised in England. This specifically pertains to the creation of credits based on prevention of leaching of phosphate and nitrogen from agricultural land through large scale tree planting.

The team also has strong sustainable real estate expertise with lawyers such as Richard Walford, who also co-leads the sustainable economy practice alongside Charles Courtenay.

The firm has been externally recognised for its commitment to reducing its carbon impact through Planet Mark Business certification, and the firm-wide ThinkGreen committee oversees its aspiration to achieve net zero in scopes 1 and 2 by 2030. It is also a signatory or the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations and has hosted two sustainable agriculture conferences in Bristol.

Richard Walford

Charles Courtenay

Ben Sharples

Pogust Goodhead

Global law firm Pogust Goodhead was founded with the intention of challenging environmental and human rights wrongdoings by global corporations. It acts at the forefront of cutting-edge international environmental justice litigation. The firm has also organised multiple events in UK Parliament on climate change, air pollution, and environmental justice, and the team regularly speaks at ESG events worldwide, including at the United Nations. 

Managing partner and CEO Tom Goodhead leads the firm’s representation of over 700,000 claimants in landmark litigation Município de Mariana v BHP Group Plc. The case resulted from the collapse of the Fundão Dam in South-eastern Brazil in 2015 which caused 47m cubic meters of toxic tailings waste to enter the Doce River. The case was initially dismissed by the High Court on jurisdictional grounds, but the firm successfully appealed this with BHP now potentially facing £36bn in damages.

The team also acts on behalf of thousands of Brazilian claimants against German company TÜV SÜD, which through mining activities caused the collapse of the Córrego do Feijão Dam in January 2019. Highly toxic chemicals leaked into the environment causing water contamination, ecosystem damage and weakened infrastructure. Goodhead and Bruna Ficklscherer issued proceedings in Germany.

Tom Goodhead

Bruna Ficklscherer


UK law firm TLT has a leading national future energy group which advises across the project life cycle of renewable and clean energy projects. The cross-disciplinary team led by Bristol-based Maria Connolly has worked at government level to influence policies and regulations, paving the way for a sustainable future.

Of note is the team’s advice to Thrive Renewables on its investment in United Downs Geothermal Limited (UDGL) in connection with the construction and development of the UK’s first ever commercial scale geothermal power generation project. Corporate future energy lead, Kay Hobbs‘ expertise were key to the project’s success. In another recent matter, a team led by Antonia Silvestri supported Innova Renewables on a strategic partnership with funds managed by Schroders Greencoat LLP which aims to finance and develop 5GW of renewable energy generation and battery storage projects across the UK. Other key clients include Ecotricity, Low Carbon, and Green Investment Group. Hobbs and Silvestri operate from the firm’s Bristol office. 

The firm has SBTi-validated near-term and net zero targets (2030 and 2040 respectively) aligned with 1.5oC warming and including scopes 1, 2 and 3. The firm’s emissions reduction plan is being implemented with Carbon Intelligence. The Glasgow office has moved to Cadworks, Scotland’s first net zero office building, fitted with EV charging points. 

As a member of The Chancery Lane Project, the firm has contributed to its built environment project and is also driving change through written case studies in CBI’s (Confederation of British Industry) Innovation Toolkit on how to be more green and Action Net Zero’s partnership programme, to name just a few. The firm is also the first corporate partner of Belmont Estate, funding nature restoration.

Kay Hobbs

Maria Connolly

Antonia Silvestri

Agnes Altmets

A&O Shearman

The environmental team at A&O Shearman has significant experience in the developing voluntary carbon market. The firm is also engaged at the forefront of emerging green and renewable technologies at a global scale.

Co-head of the international environmental, climate and regulatory law groups Matthew Townsend and projects partner Tim Scales are providing technical advice to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on the partnership with Vitol to invest in a range of high integrity, socially impactful of carbon avoidance and removals projects which will generate carbon credits to be sold on the voluntary carbon market. Townsend also assisted RMI and a group of leading steel industry lenders with the creation of the first climate-aligned finance agreements for the steel sector, the Sustainable STEEL Principles (SSP).  

Global co-head of energy David Lee provided legal counsel to Carlyle Group and GIC on their more than $3bn investment in green ammonia/hydrogen developer Eneus Energy to support the development of a 14GW + pipeline of projects in the UK and US.

Internally, the firm’s global environmental strategy targets climate change, biodiversity degradation, water scarcity, and natural resource depletion, and its SBTi-certified decarbonisation strategy focuses on reducing scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 50% by 2030.

The firm also distributes a monthly sustainable transition seminar series amongst a plethora of ESG and net-zero focused thought leadership.

David Lee

Matthew Townsend

Tim Scales

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard’s ESG practice led by London-based Lee Shankland-Gort draws on multidisciplinary expertise to advise clients on a spectrum of ESG matters, ranging from sustainable fund formation to novel energy projects in emerging green technology and infrastructure.

A team headed by funds specialists Jan Gruter in Glasgow advised New Forests Pty Limited on the launch a sustainable forestry impact fund in Africa currently valued at $500m with the option to increase over time.

Energy co-head Richard Goodfellow and construction partner David Shaw are currently assisting Scotia Gas Networks on various aspects of its world first green hydrogen to homes project ‘H100 Fife’, which aims to deliver carbon free heating and cooking to a test town via green hydrogen produced through electrolysis powered by offshore wind. A trailblazer in this field, the firm produced a hydrogen report in collaboration with Equitix to shed light on the opportunities and challenges of the hydrogen economy.

The team is also engaged with the development of battery energy storage systems and is currently advising Alcemi Storage Developments UK Limited on eight of Europe’s largest systems, ranging from 500MW to 1GW.  Planning and infrastructure partner Sarah Baillie is leading negotiations from various leasing and consenting perspectives in Glasgow.

The Leed’s based practice is supporting leading UK EV charging company Pod Point on various points to facilitate the roll out of charging infrastructure across the country. Paul Dight has been pivotal to this work.

Internally, the environmental steering group and the green team regularly meet to generate new ideas to reduce carbon impact. The firm is on track for achieving carbon neutral accreditation by 2024 having reached an 80% reduction in CO2 in last five years. It is also on target for net zero accreditation in Scopes 1+2, also by 2024. As a founding member of the Greener Litigation Pledge the firm is committed to reducing the environmental impact of disputes work and regularly engages with courts to support changes to rules and procedures to facilitate this.

Lee Shankland-Gort

Richard Goodfellow

David Shaw

Jan Gruter


Ashurst advises financial institutions, corporates, governments, and non-governmental organisations on delivering innovative energy transition projects.

A team of projects and energy transition lawyers are advising the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on its CCUS programme which is crucial to ensuring the UK meets its net zero target. The London group including Philip Vernon, co-head of corporate projects, is assisting with the development of a business model to enable the necessary infrastructure, transport, and storage for a range of capture projects, including low carbon hydrogen programmes. The firm is a leader in hydrogen thought leadership; it produced a global interactive guide to assist clients in navigating evolving hydrogen strategies and regulations.

Renewable and thermal power specialist Antony Skinner led advice to Low Carbon, an innovative finance facility with Natwest, Lloyd Bank, and Allied Irish Banks. The debt facility will enable the construction of large scale renewable energy projects in the UK and Netherlands with an aniticpated capacity of at least 1GW.

In the EV space, the real estate team plays a critical role in supporting Tritax Management Limited/Abrdn on the funding and construction delivery of Britishvolt’s ‘game changer’ gigaplant car battery factory. Estimations suggest that by the end of the decade the factory will be able to produce battery cells for more than 300,000 EV battery packs per year.

Since her appointment in 2019, global ESG partner Anna-Marie Slot has spearheaded the firm’s ESG strategy through client engagement and internal initiatives. The firm works closely with Climate Impact Partners to offset carbon emissions, and has set a Net Zero ambition by 2050. It also participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project and EcoVadis assessments annually.

Antony Skinner

Anna-Marie Slot

Philip Vernon

Bates Wells

Bates Wells were the first law firm to be certified as a B-Corp in 2015 and have since been recognised as ‘Best for the World’ business by B Lab in 2019 and 2022. The firm reached net zero carbon on scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions measurable in 2019 and continues to increase the scope 3 emissions that it measures each year, while working towards a science-based target. Crucially, as part of the firm’s internal green policy, it turns away clients engaging in climate-damaging activities.

Purpose and impact practice co-head, Luke Fletcher drafted the Better Business Act for B Lab UK. This proposes to amend the Companies Act, establishing a new principle of fiduciary duty, aligning the interests of shareholders with those of society and the environment, accompanied by reporting. So far, the campaign has garnered support from around 1,000 businesses as well as the Institute of Directors.

The corporate and commercial practice regularly engages with purposeful business clients. For charity CDP Worldwide, which helps companies disclose their environmental impact, the team provided ongoing commercial law support and advice on the Science Based Targets initiative.

The real estate practice seeks to apply impactful principles at every stage of the property life cycle. Recent work includes support to the Woodland Trust in developing documents to facilitate increased tree planting, woodland management and carbon sequestration ahead of the Environment Act 2021’s proposed “Conservation Covenants”.

The firm is also a member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance and founding member of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance.

Luke Fletcher

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP regularly advises local authorities across the UK on various green transition focused projects.

For Birmingham City Council, energy partner and climate change sector specialist Nadeem Arshad and his Bristol team assisted with a major waste to energy PPP project, including the 25MW Tyseley Energy Recovery Facility. For Nottingham city council, the Bristol-based projects practice advised on ‘levelling-up’ grant negotiations related to the LED conversion project, replacing all the city’s luminaires in its street lighting. The project is a key component to the council’s net zero pathway.

Real estate lawyer and renewable energy specialist Harriet Murray Jones joined the firm in October 2022, bringing long term client Boom Power. Murray Jones and the team now act for the client on the property aspects of its proposed East Yorkshire 400 MW solar farm, classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

Internally, the firm is certified carbon neutral against industry best practice PAS 2060 standard and uses carbon footprint offsetting via UN accredited Gold Standard schemes voted for by 35 green ambassadors across the business. It has also achieved ISO 14001 certification, and its lawyers regularly contribute to seminars and conferences on ESG-related topics.

Harriet Murray Jones

Nadeem Arshad

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Multidisciplinary firm BCLP has a dedicated environmental practice led by London-based Aidan Thomson, who has almost 30 years of experience in multiple areas of environmental law. The firm also stands out for its work in sustainable finance, and in the real estate space, it is assisting several clients with their response to climate change, covering topics such as energy efficiency in buildings and green leases.

In a recent matter, the firm advised Octopus Hydrogen on the installation of electrolysers to create green hydrogen in one of the first hydrogen commercialisation projects – providing hydrogen as a service – in the UK. In another highlight, the team assisted Qatari Diar with a £400m Green Loan for the development of the Chelsea Barracks residential development, the financing of which is provided by a consortium of five lenders, and is aligned with the Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles. The firm also acted for RAW charging in securing funding for its £250m rollout programme for EV charging stations in the UK.

Recently, the firm established an ESG Leadership and Global Practice Team to internally manage and drive the development of its ESG efforts. In April 2023, the firm installed its own worm digester, which can process almost all of its food waste in an environmentally friendly way. It also achieved a recycling rate of 95% for 2022, and its UK scope 1 emissions have reduced by over 50% in 2022 compared with 2021.

Externally, the firm has shown efforts to spread awareness around sustainability issues. In 2023, the firm hosted an event which, among other sustainability topics, discussed eco-friendly arbitration. In the same year, Thomson discussed environmental disclosure and greenwashing risks at the Net Zero Investor conference.

Aidan Thomson

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP established its leading environmental practice more than 25 years ago, demonstrating a longstanding understanding of environmental issues. More recently, the firm set up a net zero services team – bolstered by its strong renewable energy expertise – to assist clients with the delivery of net zero strategies. Heat network specialist Charles Robson and energy transition expert Malcom Donald joined the energy practice in 2022, further expanding the team’s capabilities. 

Recent matters of significance include advice to Bristol City Council on its ‘City Leap’ initiative whereby the council is seeking to appoint a partner for a 20-year joint venture to deliver £1bn of investment into low carbon energy infrastructure into the city to support its goal of reaching net zero by 2030. Head of renewables Ross Fairley and clean energy expert Emma Andrews in the Bristol office have been key to the project.

Fairley is also part of the team, led by infrastructure partner Julian Boswell, advising Progressive Energy and ENI on The Hynet Project. This will be the UK’s first large-scale low-carbon project and is expected to provide energy amounting to the entire North West region’s domestic natural gas demand.  

Other clean energy clients include Bluefield Solar Income Fund, Blue Gem Wind, and Protium Green Solutions.

Outside of energy transition work, the environment team led by Michael Barlow has assisted Severn Trent Water from a regulatory and real estate perspective regarding sustainable urban drainage solutions. 

Internally, the firm has measured, managed, and reported on its emissions since 2008, overseen by the environment committee. Its SBTi-approved targets include a 50% reduction in scope 1, 2 and relevant scope 3 emissions by 2030. The team also contributes to important collaborations as founding members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance and the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance as well as being active participants in The Chancery Lane Project and a signatory of the UN Global Compact.  

Charles Robson

Malcom Donald

Ross Fairley

Emma Andrews

Julian Boswell

Michael Barlow

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton offers a cross-disciplinary sustainability practice which provides complementary knowledge and experience to clients on the full spectrum of ESG issues. From nature funds to renewable energy policy and international environmental arbitration, the firm is involved with cutting-edge international cases across its practice areas.

Notably, the firm is acting as international counsel to the Government of Barbados on its landmark debt-for-nature swap transaction which is expected to release $50m over the next 15 years to be used towards marine conservation. In another significant matter, a team across the firm’s London and Paris offices is representing The Federal Republic of Nigeria in an ICSID arbitration brought by Shell regarding an oil spill in the Niger Delta which caused significant harm to the environment and subsequent health issues for the local population. Shell has challenged the judgement of the domestic court in Nigeria that plaintiffs suffered as a result of the contamination.

Sustainability and competition specialist Maurits Dolmans frequently speaks at prominent international conferences; at COP27 he covered the intersection of law and science in addressing the climate crisis. Dolman and his team often engage with policymakers including the European Commission, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and policy makers in Asia, such as in the context of the review of the Renewable Energy Directive and the integration of sustainability in antitrust law, among other topics.

The firm works with Good Company/Parametrix to measure its emissions which will be submitted to CDP and offset via Climate Vault. It also collaborates with EcoVadis to manage sustainability throughout its supply chain. Further demonstrating its thought leadership, the firm disseminates a weekly newsletter concerning climate and the financial sector in addition to a plethora of sustainability-linked publications.

Maurits Dolmans


Multi-service firm DWF stands out for its work in renewable energy finance. It also has a sustainable business and ESG practice, led by London-based Tracey Groves, which supports clients in the design, development, and delivery of their corporate sustainability goals.

In an ongoing highlight, the firm is advising Net Zero Marine Services on one of the first ever electric shore power stations for vessels using the tidal Thames in a deal which was engineered by the Port of London Authority. The station is essential for attracting more carbon-neutral and electric vessels to the Thames, and it is hoped the matter will be a catalyst for further green investment in the river.

The team is also assisting the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its ten authorities with the development of a multi-project framework agreement to secure private sector development of low or zero carbon emissions energy generation and storage projects.

Other ongoing matters include acting for Hygen Energy in the development of a green hydrogen production facility with a capacity of 13,000kg a day, and advising Northumberland Estates in connection with the development of over 1GW of solar PV and battery energy storage systems on 2,000 acres of its estate.

Internally, the firm has set Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) verified targets to reduce its scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 50% by 2030. Currently, its Edinburgh office uses 100% renewable energy.

In April 2023, the firm became an inaugural signatory to the Legal Charter 1.5, which aims to support law firms with their transition to net zero. It is also a member to the Legal Sustainability Alliance and Net Zero Lawyers Alliance.

London-based key individual Abi Duff-Walker was recently appointed as the firm’s head of sustainability.

Tracey Groves

Abi Duff-Walker

Foot Anstey

Multi-service firm Foot Anstey has an energy and infrastructure team led by Ian Stubbs and an environmental team led by Christian Silk, which – among other matters – advises clients on all aspects of environmental issues associated with energy projects.

In an ongoing matter, Silk and Stubbs are advising British Solar Renewables (BSR), one of the first developers of solar photovoltaic in the UK, across a number of legal issues, including several large-scale solar option for leases. The firm recently acted for the same client on its sale to ICG Infra, which has made further investment available to enable BSR to pursue its expansion plans to build and operate solar and storage assets in the UK and Australia.

The team is also assisting Celtic Sea Power with a multi-million pound strategic offshore wind power project: the Cornwall Floating Offshore Wind Accelerator.

Internally, the firm has shown its commitment to sustainability with various initiatives, such as purchasing 100% of its energy from renewable sources. The team has also demonstrated its expertise through thought leadership, having published a number of articles on topics including the growing hydrogen sector and the voluntary carbon markets.

Additionally, the firm has taken part in volunteering activities over the past 12 months, such as beach cleans along the south coast, litter picking, and partnering up with Empire Fighting Change to donate several laptops in an effort to recycle used technology projects and save them from landfill.

The firm is a member of the recently formed Celtic Sea Cluster (which aims to drive the development of offshore wind in the Celtic Sea), as well as the Chancery Lane Project and RenewableUK (the trade body for the renewables industry).

All mentioned individuals are based in Bristol.

Christian Silk

Ian Stubbs

Freeths LLP

Multi-service firm Freeths LLP has done significant work to facilitate the green transition in the UK with its clean energy waste and sustainability team, headed by Clare King, environmental law team, led by Penny Simpson, and waste team, led by Kirstin Roberts. In 2021, the firm created an ESG committee, which is responsible for the firm’s ESG policies.

London-based King and Birmingham-based Roberts are assisting SmartParc with their state-of-the-art food manufacturing campus, which is currently under development and aims to use an energy-sharing infrastructure – including wind, solar, and heat pumps – to create one of the most sustainable food production communities in the country. In another ongoing highlight, the firm is advising Landmark Power Holdings Limited on the construction of a new zero carbon energy generation facility, which is designed to capture and reuse carbon dioxide from a nearby energy generation plant in Peterlee.

A recent success was also Sheffield-based Simpson’s representation of The Portland Association, which had been leading an active campaign to object to a planning proposal by Powerfuel for a new waste incinerator at Portland Bill in Dorset, on delivering clear objections based on waste issues and natural environment issues to prevent the grant of permission for the proposed incinerator.

Actively engaged in client outreach and thought leadership, initiatives include the firm’s clean energy, waste and sustainability team running a series of green breakfast webinars on topics including bioenergy, sustainability, and hydrogen.

The firm is also a signatory to the Greener Litigation pledge and a member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, the Chancery Lane Project, and the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA). Notably, key contact King assisted the Chancery Lane Project in drafting new contractual clauses aiming to turn sustainability aspirations into contractual commitments. Liverpool-based Helen Mitcheson in the firm’s environmental law team is a UKELA trustee.

Clare King

Penny Simpson

Kirstin Roberts

Helen Mitcheson

GA Solicitors

Multi-service firm GA Solicitors has developed specialist expertise in the renewable energy sector and stands out for its know-how in solar projects.

In an ongoing matter, head of the firm’s energy team Helen Rumford, who is based in London and has over 17 years of experience working in the renewable energy space, is acting for Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) in maximising the value of their existing project portfolio of UK solar assets, considered one of the largest solar portfolios in the UK with a capacity of approximately 700MW and worth over £884m. Other notable highlights include advising Anglo Renewables and Anglo Energy Storage across 16 new development sites for solar and energy storage projects, and assisting a global energy operator with the implications of entering the UK renewables market.

On the pro bono side, Rumford advises the Low Carbon Gordano Board, an organisation that strives to help local communities become more sustainable by reducing their carbon footprint. The firm’s work includes providing advice on rooftop solar opportunities with local schools to encourage more renewable energy generation and community engagement in the green transition.

In 2022, the firm established a Carbon Reduction Committee which aims to identify opportunities for the firm to reduce its carbon footprint, such as introducing a cycle to work scheme.

Plymouth-based key contact Jonathan Hall is a board member of the Dartmoor Wood Fuel Co-Operative, an organisation that aspires to promote biomass and its environmental benefit, reduce carbon emissions by using sustainably managed woodlands, and develop public awareness around renewable energy.

Helen Rumford

Jonathan Hall

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s global ESG advisory service offers clients across sectors deep and broad ESG knowledge with a particularly strong UK presence. Ben Stansfield co-chairs the ESG practice from the London office.

The team has played a key role in several matters in the emerging UK carbon markets space. This includes advice to the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on its support of the LEAF coalition. The global coalition of the private sector and governments provides financing for tropical and subtropical forest conservation via carbon markets. So far, approximately $1.5bn in funding has been reached.

A London-based team led by energy co-head and green hydrogen specialist Gareth Baker acted for HydrogenOne Capital Growth Plc on a €6m investment in HH2E to fund the development of new green hydrogen projects in Germany. Baker worked alongside project and infrastructure lead Nath Curtis.

Also of significance is Curtis’ advice to Zenobe regarding its £235m financing by five commercial banks to construct two greenfield battery storage projects in Scotland. This will see up to 600MW of storage capacity added to the UK transmission network.

Birmingham-based Fiona Nicholls oversees internal ESG Strategy, which includes the firm’s commitment to the United Nations Global Compact, sustainability reporting, five adopted international standards and annual independent ESG audit by EcoVadis. The firm is also a member of The Chancery Lane Project and a founder signatory to the 1.5 Charter to catalyse carbon leadership across the legal sector.

Gareth Baker

Nath Curtis

Fiona Nicholls

Ben Stansfield

Hausfeld & Co LLP

Corporate accountability and social justice are at Hausfeld & Co LLP’s core, and the team is no stranger to taking on big corporations and institutions, supporting a range of NGOs in doing so. Its desire to prioritise those most vulnerable impacted by environmental misdemeanours and/or climate change translates to a flexible fee structure to facilitate equal access to justice. Furthermore, a significant proportion of climate and environmental work is undertaken on a pro bono basis.  

The competition team is currently bringing a group action, as part of the steering committee, against Mercedes-Benz in the UK on behalf of thousands of individual and business purchasers of diesel Mercedes vehicles after it was found the company had installed devices to cheat emissions tests.

In another high-profile case, human rights and environmental experts Sarah Moore and Wessen Jazrawi are representing The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) in its intervention in the Supreme Court hearing Manchester Ship Canal Company Limited (MSCCL) vs United Utilities (UU). The client supports MSSCL in resisting UU’s attempt to protect water companies from common law challenges. If the Supreme Court decides in favour of MSCCL, water companies will hold increased accountability for sewage discharge in rivers across the UK.

Disputes expert Simon Bishop is also engaged with ground-breaking legal action exposing greenwashing issues in the banking sector.

The firm’s climate impact hub, which launched in 2021, drives conversations around the role of law in the climate crisis. The team regularly publishes and contributes to articles, blogs, and vlogs on the platform to keep users up to date on the most relevant developments in this space.

Sarah Moore

Wessen Jazrawi

Simon Bishop

Herbert Smith Freehills

UN Global Compact signatory Herbert Smith Freehills provides advice to clients at the forefront of the green transition.

An international multidisciplinary team, including London-based global ESG leader Silke Goldberg, is advising Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) and the International Lawyers Project on the Green Hydrogen Contracting and Green Hydrogen Standard initiatives. This will set universal standards for the hydrogen market to ensure that hydrogen being produced is legitimately green, and support the development of legal regimes to regulate its production and consumption.  

From a green funds perspective, corporate partner and ESG specialist Rebecca Perlman and regional head of projects Martin Kavanagh advised multiple clients on their investments into innovative renewable energy projects. This includes ongoing support to the IBRD and ADB for a portfolio of renewable energy projects in Uzbekistan with a total estimated capacity of approximately 1.5 GW, which will be key to Uzbekistan achieving its national goal of developing 7GW solar and 5GW wind capacity by 2030.  

Other key clients include Transmission Capital Partners Limited Partnership (TCP) and CDP Worldwide. 

The firm’s COP27 Hub helps clients to track key developments and provides regional overviews and deep dives to help users stay on top of this fast-paced area. To address its own impact, the firm developed and implemented global responsible procurement and environmental policies as well as a global sustainability strategy to contribute towards its near-term goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030. It is also the only law firm to be a Global Alliance Member of The Earthshot Prize to assist businesses scaling eco-solutions that repair and regenerate the planet, through which it has so far dedicated 219 hours of pro bono support.

Silke Goldberg

Rebecca Perlman

Martin Kavanagh

Hogan Lovells

UN Global Compact signatory Hogan Lovells acts for clients working on cutting edge developments driving forward the renewable energy sector.

Green transition expert Scott Tindall led a cross-practice team assisting longstanding client The Crown Estate (TCE) with the awarding of landmark agreements for the development of six offshore wind projects. This marks the culmination of the Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 project which aims to produce around 8GW of renewable energy. Tindall’s team also advised Ofgem, the economic regulator for the Economic Regulatory Regime (ERR), on the design and delivery of the new economic regulatory support model for CCUS. 

The ESG team acts for a number of clients with an environmental or biodiversity focus. This includes work with Bright Tide on Ocean Accelerator Workshops and the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts regarding their agreement with Aviva facilitating a £38m donation from Aviva Group as part of their commitment to restore temperate rainforests in Britain.

The firm is a founding member of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) which is driving the focus on biodiversity in the ESG market, and has produced a teaching resource on rewilding with the Economist Foundation. It is also a signatory to UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and Race to Zero. 

In April 2023, Marion Palmer was appointed as head of global sustainability to oversee the firm’s internal sustainability strategy. This includes current work towards defining its supplier engagement programme for Scope 3 emissions.  The firm is also working in partnership on the construction of a new, net zero carbon London office designed to achieve BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum standards.

Scott Tindall

Marion Palmer

Howard Kennedy LLP

London-based law firm Howard Kennedy LLP is a leader in the emerging energy storage market, providing sustainable solutions to meet the needs of the UK power market in the green transition.

Head of energy Jonathan Cohen leads the team assisting Atlantic Green, a joint venture between Nofar Energy and Interland, on the £214m Cellarhead project, the UK’s largest planned battery energy storage facility. The facility, located near Stoke, will provide a storage capacity of c.700MWh and is expected to be operational in 2024.

A sustainable investment funds team led by expert Marc Proudfoot is acting as legal advisor on the launch of Blackfinch Renewable European Income Trust plc. (BRET). BRET aims to invest in a portfolio of mixed renewable energy infrastructure assets and is seeking to raise £300m. Another key green finance client is Octopus Investments with the launch of its new Venture Capital Trust “Octopus Future Generations” seeking to back UK-based early-stage companies solving society’s biggest challenges.

The firm has established a carbon emissions baseline from which to kickstart its net-zero journey and currently uses 100% certified Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin electricity in the office. Memberships include the Legal Sustainability Alliance, the UK Green Building Council and London Bridge City Sustainability Network.

Jonathan Cohen

Marc Proudfoot

J A Kemp

J A Kemp provides market leading intellectual property counsel for green energy and climate technologies. Stephen Hodsdon heads up the cleantech practice which engages with a range of clients from start-ups to universities and multi-national companies working on creative, green solutions.

The firm is advising US-based carbon capture company LanzaTech, which uses genetically engineered bacteria to transform carbon-rich wastes and residues into useful chemical and fuel products, on obtaining patent protection in Europe for its innovations. It is also assisting HydRegen with its development of new strategies for clean, low-cost chemical production. Other key clients include Preoptima, which addresses the carbon impact of construction, and CyanoCapture, which harnesses cyanobacteria to provide affordable, industrial scale carbon capture. 

The firm’s cleantech knowledge hub provides useful insights into developments in the field. The firm is also an associate founder member of Cambridge Cleantech which connects investors, corporates and academics to facilitate innovative, sustainable solutions for a low carbon future. Committed to internal best practices, the Green Team meets regularly to develop and promote environmental policies.

Stephen Hodsdon

Leigh Day

Leading claimant firm Leigh Day’s work includes international multi-party actions arising from environmental damage, and public law challenges relating to climate change. The firm works with a range of leading environmental NGOs in the UK such as Greenpeace and ClientEarth.

Currently, co-head of the firm’s international department Richard Meeran is advising a group of Colombian farmers in the department of Putumayo seeking compensation from UK-based Amerisur Resources for environmental damages arising from a large oil spill in the area in 2015. The claimants allege that the defendant is liable under Colombian law on dangerous activities for both the spill and the failure to carry out adequate clean-up.

In another impactful ongoing matter, Jamie Beagent, who specialises in planning and environmental cases, is assisting Friends of the Earth with its challenge against the decision of the Secretary of State for International Trade to provide a loan guarantee of $850m and a direct loan of $300m to a subsidiary of Total for investment in a liquified natural gas project off the coast of Mozambique. The claimants argue that the provision of the finance was not in alignment with the UK Government’s international law obligations under the Paris Agreement. The firm and client are currently waiting for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The firm is also representing over 11,000 claimants from The Ogale community and over 2,300 fisherman from the Bille Community against Shell and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria. Both claimants argue that the pollution caused from Shell’s oil spills and its effects constitute a breach of their constitutional rights. As well as claiming financial compensation, the communities are also seeking injunctive relief to compel the defendants to carry out clean up and remediation.

All individuals mentioned are based in London.

Richard Meeran

Jamie Beagent

Lux Nova Partners Limited

Lux Nova Partners Limited is an innovative boutique formed by ten senior energy lawyers who provide comprehensive advice in the clean energy industry with particular strength in the heat sector. The firm has also been branching out into regenerative and circular economy topics.

In a longstanding matter, the firm has been acting as legal partner in the delivery consortium led by Triple Point Investment Management managing two major Government decarbonisation funds: BEIS’ £320m Heat Network Investment Programme (HNIP), and DESNZ’s £288m Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF), which aims to drive even greater decarbonisation of the heat sector. Tom Bainbridge, who has over twenty years’ experience, leads on the matter.

Nikola Zahariev has been acting for key client Alpha Real Capital on various renewables transactions, including one of its largest acquisitions to date, a wind portfolio sold by Capital Dynamics.

Sandy Abrahams is assisting The Silvertown Partnership, a regeneration project for 6,500 new homes with an innovative energy solution seeing heat from the adjacent Tate & Lyle sugar refinery being used to deliver net-zero carbon heating and cooling.

David Short is advising Wendling Beck Environment Project on the structuring and contracts for a 2,000 acre nature restoration and biodiversity enhancement project in Norfolk funded through the sale of environmental credits and ecosystem services.

Another client is green hydrogen developer Meld Energy regarding an investment by World Kinect Sustainability Ventures.

The team is not only highly active in various industry roles and thought leadership, but is also engaged in other businesses such as energy efficiency consultancy, energy policy work, and business start-up and strategy consultancy.

Further demonstrating its dedication to advancing the green transition, the firm has committed to at least 1% of its turnover to be donated to green charities and campaigns.

With no office, the firm has no direct emissions, and operations are entirely paperless.

Sandy Abrahams

David Short

Tom Bainbridge

Nikola Zahariev

Maples Teesdale LLP

Real estate specialist firm Maples Teesdale LLP supports clients at all stages of sustainable development – from planning and construction to letting and financing – with particularly strong capabilities in green leases. Clients have benefitted from this expertise in the wake of the implementation of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations.

Commercial real estate partner and head of ESG Anastasia Klein is advising Bywater Properties on the redevelopment of the former Costa Roastery in Vauxhall to create a new office building development with a mass timber structure from sustainable forests. This building sets a benchmark for low carbon development exceeding the RIBA and LETI 2030 Targets at 413kg CO2e/m2. 

For Columbia Threadneedle Investments the firm managed all aspects of the RSA mandate and circa £400m property portfolio, including the redevelopment of Royal Bank of Scotland’s’ former headquarters which will create a new £70m end investment multi-let office product rated BREEAM Excellent. The refurbishment will provide bike and scooter charging and increased energy efficiency across the building.

The team also acted on a major project for City of London Corporation for the development of new offices for Clifford Chance LLP with first-class sustainability characteristics.

As a signatory of the British Property Federation Net Zero Pledge and the Greener Litigation Pledge, the firm has committed to taking active steps in reducing its environmental and climate impact. It is also a member of the Energy & Environment Alliance (EEA), a not-for-profit coalition of hospitality sector leaders working with renowned experts to tackle the challenge of climate change

Anastasia Klein

Mewburn Ellis LLP

European IP firm Mewburn Ellis LLP’s strong green client base includes innovative businesses whose green technologies play an important role in the energy transition and fight against climate change. Recent work covered by its UK offices has included mandates from clients working in renewable energy, future foods, EVs, sustainable packaging, green polymers and plastic recycling/ degradation. 

The Bristol-based engineering team manages REC Solar PTE Ltd’s international portfolio of registered designs relating to solar cell technologies, including the lead-free and RoHS compliance REC Alpha Pure Series. A group of Manchester and Bristol-based chemistry partners is representing Toray, global leaders in the production of lightweight composite materials for green power generation. Work includes advice on prosecution of the patent portfolio and inter parties’ representation before the EPO’s Opposition Divisions and Boards of Appeal. Toray’s comprehensive portfolio also includes high performance materials for hydrogen fuel cells and innovative battery materials. Other key clients include Green Energy, Nyobolt and Ecovative.  

The firm holds carbon neutral status having offset its carbon use for 2022, and holds a silver EcoVadis rating, the only European IP firm with a UK presence to have achieved this. It has also committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 42% by 2030. For every new mandate the firm plants a new tree, which has accumulated to over 30,000 trees. Furthermore, at the end of 2022, the firm published its first Sustainable Communities Special Report outlining its commitments and disclosing its carbon footprint.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has taken part in a number of green firsts nationally and internationally. It has particular expertise in the renewable energy space and stands out for its work with wind energy projects.

In an ongoing matter in the offshore wind sector, the firm is advising Moray Offshore Wind (West) on the circa £1.9bn wind farm located in Scotland, which is expected to become operational in 2025. The major 882MW project involves 60 wind turbines with a generating capacity of 14.7MW. In a recent highlight in the same sector, London-based Charles Whitney, head of the firm’s energy practice, advised Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) on the financing of a 500MW onshore wind farm located in Uzbekistan, considered one of the largest renewables project in Central Asia.

In a multi-jurisdictional matter, the firm has been advising the UNHCR on the decarbonisation of its power supply to its deep field compounds in Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia as part of its Green Financing Facility.

The firm is at the forefront of sustainability-related thought leadership, which includes its ESG and Sustainability Insights newsletter, and The Language of Green Demystified series, where the team explains commonly used acronyms in the sustainability space. The firm also has an Energy Transition YouTube channel, as well as an Energy Transition Newsletter, and an Energy Transition Hub. Additionally, it has taken part in a number of relevant events, such as participating in the Financial Times 3rd Moral Summit Europe in 2023, which centred around the theme of unlocking opportunities for a greener and fairer world. The firm also attended COP27.

London-based Caroline May is chair of the Law Society Climate Change Working Group and co-chair of the Legal Sustainability Alliance.

For its internal sustainability performance, the firm was recently awarded the Ecovadis gold certification standard.

Caroline May

Charles Whitney

Osborne Clarke

Through its dedicated decarbonisation group, Osborne Clarke provides clients with comprehensive advice on environmental law and sustainability issues, assisting with sustainable infrastructure development and net-zero transition solutions. The team is also adept at handling sustainable finance matters related to innovative green financial products.

In a recent matter, it assisted Cotswold Homes Limited in securing a 20% biodiversity net gain through a bespoke agreement with a wildlife trust, aligning with local planning authority requirements.

Through its ESG Risk Assessment Roadmap, the firm also helps clients navigate relevant business areas for effective ESG strategy development.

As part of its dedication to sustainability, the firm engages in various environmental initiatives, supporting several local charities committed to wildlife protection such as the Avon Wildlife Trust.

In June 2022, it announced its commitment to Science Based Targets, aiming for a 50% reduction in emissions across all scopes by 2030, with a subsequent commitment to the SBTi Net Zero standard for achieving net-zero emissions by 2040.

In September 2022, it also signed the Greener Litigation Pledge, vowing to diminish the environmental impact of its regulatory practice. Additionally, its employee environment forum continues to regularly organise sustainability events, such as a keynote event on World Environment Day featuring environmental expert Roger Harrabin.

Pallas Partners LLP

London-based disputes boutique Pallas Partners LLP was launched in early 2022 by Natasha Harrison. It aims to challenge the legal industry’s traditional ways and utilises an inclusive culture to drive positive change in the environmental space and beyond. 

Since March 2022, a group led by environmental disputes expert Will Hooker has provided pro bono advice to UK-based environmental law charity ClientEarth. In February 2023, the team filed a derivative action on behalf of ClientEarth against Shell’s board of directors in the High Court of England and Wales pertaining to Shell’s energy transition strategy and its failure to mitigate the climate-risks associated with its activity. In a world-first, this case seeks to hold company directors personally liable for failing to prepare for the energy transition.

Green financial litigation expert Fiona Huntriss and environmental lead Rekha Rogers are representing global eco-advocacy organisation Mighty Earth on a pro bono basis, providing advice on various strategic litigation opportunities to further its goal of reducing deforestation and climate pollution and improving the livelihood of indigenous and local communities worldwide.  

The team also focuses its efforts on corporate responsibility in the energy and natural resources area through providing advice to institutional investors in Glencore regarding alleged corruption in parts of its African operations. 

The firm regularly contributes to pressing discussions in the green space, such as Huntriss speaking to the BBC about greenwashing in 2022. The firm’s ethos is to provide top quality advice to clients whilst making positive contributions towards society and the environment. It has committed to the Greener Litigation Pledge and the Campaign for Greener Arbitration, and it was the first UK law firm to partner with TIME CO2, a new sustainability division of TIME focused on helping businesses to achieve net zero. Physically, the office is situated in a BREAAM excellent certified building.

Fiona Huntriss

Will Hooker

Natasha Harrison

Rekha Rogers

Paxus LLP

London-based law firm Paxus LLP addresses the climate crisis from a human rights angle. Established in 2022 by former head of Allen & Overy’s ESG group, Suzanne Spears, the firm adopts a comprehensive approach to ESG and assists clients with integrating these principles into the core of their operations.

A team led by Spears and human rights expert Sebastián Abad-Jara is advising the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) on the international legal status of the right to a clean and healthy environment. The work has been key in establishing the responsibilities of the private sector in this space and could influence multiple industries globally. Other influential work includes advice to the Thun Group, a consortium of major banks, on the human rights implications and opportunities of their private sector clients’ climate transition plans.

The firm is aligned with the Law Society’s Climate Change Resolution and is a signatory of the Greener Arbitration Pledge. It also contributes to the committee consulting on IUCN-WCEL guidance for responsible natural resources supply chains. Pro bono work is prioritised as part of its strategy, with the team regularly partnering with NGOs on a range of projects.

Sebastián Abad-Jara

Suzanne Spears

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP assists clients with a range of innovative projects addressing both the risks and opportunities that come with ESG. The team has particular expertise advising in emerging markets such as the electric vehicles sector.

Birmingham-based climate and sustainability specialist Laura Ayre and energy/cleantech partner Peter Feehan are supporting French joint venture Verkor on the project financing of its test facility in Grenoble and the raising of funds for the first GigaFactory in Dunkirk. This will play a significant role in meeting the growing demand for electric vehicles and battery storage in Europe. Also in support of the booming EV market, the London-based projects team acted for international EV fleet and battery storage specialist Zenobē on the development, construction, and operation of a 200MW transmission connected battery energy storage project to be situated at Blackhillock.  

In the renewables space, planning and environment experts Gareth Phillips and Gary McGovern (based in London and Edinburgh respectively) are advising Orsted Wind Power on the consenting authorisation, environmental and property issues associated with the 2.6GW Hornsea Project Four Offshore Wind Farm. The project has a predicted capacity of 2.6 GW.

The investment funds team, headed up by Edinburgh-based alternative funds specialist David Young, assisted Unilever on its €100m investment and role in establishing the €1bn Regenerative Agriculture Fund which falls under Article 9 of SFDR. 

The firm has committed to reaching net zero by 2040, and its targets have been verified by the Science Based Targets initiative. To keep on track, it established the ESG Committee of the Board in early 2023 to streamline ESG commitments and objectives and ensure the correct governance is in place to achieve them.

Key memberships include the Sustainable Markets Initiative Legal Sector Taskforce and CDP. It is also a dialogue partner of Legal Charter 1.5, developed by a group of large law firms to shift thinking and drive change in the legal industry to tackle the climate crisis.

Laura Ayre

Gareth Phillips

Gary McGovern

Peter Feehan

David Young

Roythornes Solicitors

Roythornes Solicitors is a multi-service law firm in the Midlands and East Anglia with expertise in the renewable energy sector and a client base which includes farmers and landowners.

In the renewable energy space, Spalding-based Edd Johnson, who leads the firm’s natural resources team, and Alconbury-based Mary Sargeant, a senior associate in the same team, are acting for a landowning family in relation to a 500MW solar development and energy storage park at Gate Burton, Lincolnshire, which is expected to have the potential to produce enough clean energy to supply 160,000 homes with electricity. Johnson and Sargeant are also advising another landowner in connection with a large wind turbine scheme of circa 30 utility-scale turbines. Additionally, the duo is assisting multiple landowners with a nationally significant infrastructure project with a 500MW export capacity which spans 1600 acres and includes solar and battery energy generation.

Internally, the firm has a multidisciplinary environmental and sustainability team (the ‘Green Team’), which coordinates environmental activities and engagement projects across the firm. In order to align its business with the 17 UN SDGS, the firm has, among other initiatives, implemented a salary sacrifice scheme for the purchase of electric and hybrid model vehicles, installed solar panels, and sources 100% renewable energy for its Spalding site. Notably, the firm achieved a total of 26% reduction of its carbon emissions over the last year.

Externally, the firm aims to work with green suppliers, and supports local environmental events, such as the recently held Food Business Breakfast, where supply chain sustainability was discussed.

Edd Johnson

Mary Sargeant

Sharpe Pritchard LLP

London law firm Sharpe Pritchard LLP is a go-to for local governments regarding procurement advice in cutting edge green transition and net zero-linked projects. Head of net zero Steve Gummer launched the ‘Green Goals Campaign’ to highlight the role of public bodies in tackling the climate crisis. This is done through the ‘Green Steves’ series, a collaboration between commercial and legal advisory which provides free legal advice and environmental consultancy for local authorities and a platform to share best practices.  

Gummer supported Cambridge City Council and other local authorities from a procurement perspective regarding local renewables works in residents’ properties and council buildings. This entailed a grant scheme for low-income residents. For Cambridgeshire County Council, Gummer and head of projects and innovation Roseanne Serrelli jointly advised on a pioneering district heating scheme project proposed in the village of Swaffham Prior. The council partnered with the Community Land Trust of Swaffham Prior with the ambitious aim of replacing the village’s entire oil use with a renewable heat source and network. The scheme came into fruition in 2022.

The firm has committed to reaching net zero by 2025 and has partnered with Planet Mark as part of the process to measure its footprint. The sustainability taskforce oversees the carbon reduction plan which is published on its website.

Steve Gummer

Roseanne Serrelli

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP advises clients on a range of sustainability-related matters from clean energy projects to habitat creation. In March 2023, the firm launched ESG 360, a free online compliance audit tool to enable organisations to understand their ESG performance. 

Belfast-based projects expert John Palmer and his team recently acted on behalf of B9 Energy Storage Limited to structure the collaboration and contractual agreements for the BEIS funded hydrogen demonstrator project for long-term storage. 

The planning and environment team are providing counsel to H N Butler Farms Limited regarding the creation of a new wetland habitat at Meon Springs in the South Downs National Park. The wetland will provide nitrate mitigation for residential development in the Solent region in accordance with the Habitat Regulations and is the first privately operated scheme of its kind in the country.  

Another key client is AP Ventures Fund II which is investing into leading electric and fuel cell vehicle systems company Hypermotive.

The firm set a target to reach net zero with regard to its operational emissions by 2025 and has SBTi-validated targets to reach net zero for its entire value chain by 2040. The firm is also a signatory to numerous external initiatives demonstrating its commitment to the environment and tackling climate change. These include: the Business Ambition for 1.5°C and Race to Zero; the Legal Sustainability Alliance; the United Nations Global Compact; the Greener Arbitration Pledge; the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance and many more.

John Palmer

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2011. It stands out for its ESG work with a focus on sustainable finance.

A recent highlight was the firm’s advice to the Bank of New York Mellon on the structuring of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility (LSF), which was designed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to improve the liquidity of African Sovereign Eurobonds and incentivise SDG-related investments such as green bonds.

In an ongoing matter, the firm is assisting BP with its entry to a joint venture with Iberdola; the JV is set to invest €1 billion in electric charging infrastructure across Spain and Portugal.

The team is also acting for a major fund manager regarding implementation and ongoing compliance with EU and UK sustainability-related regulations.

Internally, the firm set up an environmental sustainability network (the Green Room), which aims to improve the sustainability of the firm’s operations. In June 2023, it announced a new set of science-based targets that aim to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030.

It has also developed innovative tools that promote sustainability, including its ESG Trackers, which track and monitor relevant ESG legislative and regulatory developments across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions.

The firm’s London office supported the Chancery Lane project in creating a new template clause relating to procurement of renewable energy by landlords and tenants in corporate tenancy agreements. Additionally, the firm’s Simmons GreenTech Fund supports start-ups that are focused on using technology to mitigate the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

Global head of ESG Sonali Siriwardena in London serves as the sole legal representative on the UK FCA’s ESG Advisory Committee and has been recently appointed to the Board of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF).

Sonali Siriwardena

Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP has an established, multidisciplinary ESG and sustainable finance practice with a strong client base in the alternative asset management space.

Of particular significance is its advice to RBS International (Jersey branch) on a €210m sustainability-linked revolving credit facility provided to Europa Capital on behalf of Europa Fund VI, the largest sustainability-linked loan RBS International has provided in the real estate sector.

The financial services team is supporting various global asset managers on compliance with the EU SFDR and emerging UK SDR and TCFD regimes. The team leads on carbon and environmental issues, including the development of policies and procedures to address these. Key clients include Oaktree, Ares, Brookfield, and Carlyle to name a few.

The firm’s technology group advised US financial services provider Incubex on its strategic collaboration with Trayport to launch a new Voluntary Climate Marketplace and an electronic platform for trading voluntary carbon offsets. The practice also assisted Incubex in its cooperation with EEX and Nodal Exchange to expand the number of listed environmental markets and products on their platforms. 

Voluntary carbon markets expert Jonathan Gilmour is a member of the Legal & Contract Principles Working Group of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets and sits on the UK regional board of the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers (GAIL).

The firm launched its internal ESG and Sustainable Finance Academy led by Carys Clipper and Simon Witney to ensure all lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to embed sustainability in their practice. It also is a member of The Chancery Lane Project and has made various contributions to its net zero playbook of template clauses. 

Heather Gagen heads the firm’s ESG and Impact Group.

All mentioned individuals are based in London.

Jonathan Gilmour

Carys Clipper

Simon Witney

Heather Gagen

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP offers specialist advice and expertise to help client across sectors adapt and contribute to a green transition. 

A London-based team led by head of energy and sustainability Chris Paul advised six providers of social housing (Plus Dane Housing; GreenSquareAccord; Eastlight Community Homes; Vivid Housing; Clarion Housing Group; and Moat Homes) on their bids for wave 2.1 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), a £160m government fund to support the installation of energy performance measures in social homes in England. Paul also assisted Shawfair LLP with the appointment of an energy service company to design, build and operate a new low carbon heat network to supply up to 2,800 new homes in south Edinburgh.

The Exeter-based real estate practice is supporting BioGains Ltd as early entrant into the Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) Credit Market, developing a suite of documents for the company. The emerging market requires developers to offset their environmental impact by delivering BNG to increase biodiversity of brown and greenfield sites by no less than 10%.

In 2022, the firm launched its first responsible business report (‘An Agenda for Change’) outlining the actions it will take in the coming years, focusing on business, people, community, environment, and governance and accountability. Key to this is its net zero commitment by which it has pledged to achieve a 90% reduction in baseline emissions by 2050 and, as interim target, a 50% reduction by 2030.

The firm is a member of The Chancery Lane Project and The Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, and has worked with the LMA on the Sustainability Linked Loan Principles for Real Estate Finance, further demonstrating its commitment in this space.

Chris Paul

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Besides its energy transition expertise, Watson Farley & Williams LLP stands out for its specialist industry know-how in transportation and is at the forefront of green transition advice in this sector.

In an ongoing highlight, the firm is acting as international advisor to the Aviation Working Group (AWG) for the development of its sustainability and ESG framework. This includes engagement with the European Commission on the implementation of the EU taxonomy for aviation and assisting with the designing and building of the AWG carbon calculator. For Rocky Mountain Institute, a London-based team has played a key role in the development of a climate-aligned finance framework to support decarbonisation in the aviation sector to be based on the Poseidon Principles for the maritime sector, which the team also previously helped to establish.

In the renewables space, global energy sector co-head and head of London projects Henry Stewart leads the team acting for Sonnedix on the financing of a set of sustainability-linked corporate loan facilities to expand its global renewable energy platform. Stewart also assisted Lloyd’s bank, NatWest and Allied Irish Bank as lenders on an innovative £230m finance facility to Low Carbon to generate 1GW of solar PV capacity.

Other key contacts include planning partner Nick Walker and senior associate Valentina Keys.

A pro bono client is Common Seas; the firm is helping the NGO to advance its mission to tackle plastic pollution. It has also assisted the Legal Innovation for Sustainable Investments Foundation with integrating sustainability and ESG topics into investment documentation.

In 2022, the firm received an Silver Ecovadis Medal for sustainable practice, and its London office is powered entirely by renewable energy. In January 2023, it also became a signatory of the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations’ Green Pledge.

Henry Stewart

Nick Walker

Valentina Keys


UN Global Compact signatory and Legal Sustainability Alliance member Weightmans LLP is a leading, multidisciplinary law firm that works across the areas of ESG, clean energy, and sustainable finance.

The firm’s ESG team aims to support clients with their ESG strategy formulation. For example, Manchester-based head of environmental law Simon Colvin, who also leads the energy and utilities team, and London-based ESG manager Abhay Srivastava are assisting the British Insurers Broker Association (BIBA) with developing its ESG programme and policy, and creating an ESG guideline for its members. The firm has also supported BIBA with its annual conference looking at the importance of ESG in the insurance area and specific risks arising from greenwashing.

In the renewable energy space, Leeds-based head of planning and infrastructure Lee Gordon and Colvin are advising Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on the multi-billion Mersey Tidal Energy project, which has the potential to power circa 300,000 homes with clean energy. The firm is also acting for Octopus Real Estate on their partnership with Homes England, the government’s housing delivery agency, on creating the Greener Homes Alliance, which will have a £175 fund and aims to enable more energy efficient homes throughout the country.

Internally, the firm is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030, and has a target of transitioning all of its offices to 100% renewable energy-based electricity by 2025. Currently, the firm has achieved ‘zero waste to landfill’ in half of its locations, and has received an Ecovadis Silver Sustainability rating. Additionally, in an active effort to support biodiversity protection, the firm sponsors the Bee Centre, an organisation that helps maintain beehives.

Key contact Srivastava was recently on a panel at the Legal ESG Summit discussing the ‘power of purpose’. Colvin also stands out for his thought leadership, having recently spoken about greenwashing trends in a webinar hosted by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment).

Simon Colvin

Abhay Srivastava

Lee Gordon

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has been a specialist in the energy and natural resources sectors for over 30 years with expertise advising on deals, developments, and disputes relating to renewable energy, including on several novel projects.

A Bristol team led by energy and natural resources real estate head Simon Hughes is acting as sole advisor to Renewable Energy Systems (RES) on all aspects of the development of their onshore wind, storage and solar portfolio, including new development and life extension projects.

Significantly, head of the firm’s UK energy practice Richard Cockburn in Edinburgh has also led advice to RES on its £3bn joint venture with Octopus Renewables to develop green hydrogen plants across the UK. In May 2023, the firm joined Hydrogen South West which drives the development of hydrogen infrastructure across the region.

In Leeds, the construction group provided legal counsel to Envision AESC regarding the design, construction and completion of the UK’s first at-scale battery manufacturing plant. Once complete, the 119GWh-capacity factory will manufacture batteries for Nissan’s electric vehicles.

The team also works with clients contributing to biodiversity protection; the Edinburgh banking and finance practice supports Triodos on all financing, real estate, and energy issues regarding the rewilding projects on large estates in Scotland. This constitutes one of the first financings of its kind in the UK.

The firm has achieved the EcoVadis Gold medal, placing it in the top 5% of reporting companies globally. As part of the goal to achieve net zero by 2030, it also measures scope 3 emissions and plans to enhance its procurement strategy to improve on this. In early 2023, it became the first law firm to join The Solent Cluster, the first major decarbonisation initiative to substantially reduce CO2 emissions across the Solent and Southern England.

Simon Hughes

Richard Cockburn

Sustainable conversations:

Anna Bauböck and Diane Gilhooley

Green Guide editor Anna Bauböck speaks to Diane Gilhooley,  global ESG co-head at Eversheds Sutherland, about recent ESG trends and the impact on the legal community.

Olivia Hart and Kirsty Green-Mann

Green Guide senior researcher Olivia Hart talks to Kirsty Green-Mann, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Burges Salmon, about how law firms can really ‘walk the talk’ and become more sustainable.

Olivia Hart and Michael Barlow

Green Guide senior researcher Olivia Hart speaks to Michael Barlow, partner in Burges Salmon’s environment team, about how law firms can support clients in their Net Zero and ESG journeys.

Roberta Downey and Kai-Uwe Karl: Part 2

Roberta Downey, Partner & Head of International Construction at Vinson & Elkins speaks to Kai-Uwe Karl, Global Chief Litigation Counsel at GE Renewable Energy about how dispute resolution must adapt to climate change and the energy transition.

Roberta Downey and Kai-Uwe Karl: Part 1

Roberta Downey, Partner & Head of International Construction at Vinson & Elkins speaks to Kai-Uwe Karl, Global Chief Litigation Counsel at GE Renewable Energy about whether our dispute resolution system is ready to cope with the increasing need for environmental disputes.