responsible business

Client engagement

We engage with our clients on responsible business issues both by advising them and by partnering on responsible business initiatives.

Helping our clients achieve their own responsible business ambitions
Many of our clients are managing sustainability challenges on a daily basis, while others are reaping the benefits of a proactive approach to sustainability.

As our advisory board member Sir Ian Cheshire puts it, ‘In a more transparent and hyper-connected world, businesses need to be both authentic and visibly a force for good if they want to attract clients, colleagues and stakeholders [and] ensure their future success.’

Increasingly this requires in-house counsel and external advisers to play a different, more proactive role. Sir Ian continues, ‘The best law firms will see this role as an extension of their core purpose of helping clients succeed through expert advice and support. Their knowledge of the client should allow them to be a critical friend to help the client go further.’

To achieve this we are helping our clients respond to a variety of challenges, including climate change and human rights.

  • Our low-carbon group advises on large-scale, innovative infrastructure projects designed to deliver the low-carbon economy and other measures to decarbonise electricity production and consumption, such as advice on renewables, carbon capture and trading, and energy conservation.
  • We also support our clients in relation to human rights legislation – such as the UK Modern Slavery Act – and the integration of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into their business relationships.

At the same time we are ensuring that we meet and exceed our clients’ own responsible procurement requirements, for instance around diversity and community impact.

Partnering with our clients on responsible business projects

We are not alone in seeking to use our skills and influence to deliver value to society. Many of our clients have similar ambitions and we value opportunities to work with them to achieve their goals. For instance our partnerships with Goldman Sachs and the Bank of England have helped increase the range and impact of the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme.

Related responsible business in action case studies