Peters & Peters

ESG Litigation & Enforcement

Business engagement in environmental sustainability and social responsibility has come into sharp focus since the Paris Agreement in 2015 (now commonly referred to as “environmental, social, and governance”, or “ESG”, for short).

While ESG as a concept has existed for almost a decade, the prominence and development of “ESG civil litigation” and “ESG criminal enforcement” — both of which seek to hold corporate actors and directors to account for failures in the ESG sphere — is more recent.

ESG litigation and criminal enforcement is emerging in various ways, including “greenwashing” allegations, minority shareholder claims, liability for human rights and environmental harm, as well as traditional environmental claims and ESG-linked frauds (investor, supply chain or carbon credit frauds, misleading financial statements, pyramid schemes, etc).

Our vast experience advising on sensitive, high-stakes investigations, criminal, regulatory and civil litigation and compliance and reputational risk means that we give practical and effective support to clients in this fast-changing area.

Companies with international operations face complex ESG-related challenges and potential exposure across multiple jurisdictions. We advise on compliance programmes, carry out due diligence, deliver strategic advice and training, conduct internal investigations and defend active external disputes and investigations.

Our team has experience with multi-jurisdictional regulations and frameworks in the ESG sphere. We can assist with:

  • Human rights internal and external investigations
  • Compliance with supply chain transparency and reporting requirements
  • Slavery and supply chain policies, procedures and codes of conduct
  • Human rights and supply chain benchmarking, risk assessment and due diligence
  • Bespoke training for all employees up to board level.
  • Applications to vary or discharge restraint orders
  • Post-conviction confiscation orders

Advised a waste management business in relation to its obligations under POCA.

Advising a waste management business in relation to a criminal investigation into suspected evasion of landfill tax and environmental offences.

Advised an overseas high net worth family in relation to a criminal investigation into allegations of modern slavery.

Advised a number of multinationals on the application of the modern slavery act in its international business operations.