Business and human rights

We are leading lawyers in the area of international business and human rights.  Companies consult us about their operations and supply chains in countries that have experienced human rights and rule of law problems.  Funds and financial institutions seek our advice about their investments in such companies.  Governments consult us about their legislation and international obligations in relation to business and human rights.

We provide advice on international business and human rights related legal standards, potential liabilities, issues arising from the implementation of voluntary standards (including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises), due diligence, grievance mechanisms, policy design, compliance mechanisms, contract governance, reporting and assurance, risk management and dispute resolution.

Given the sensitive nature of the work, we are unable to identify most of our lawyers’ mandates, even indirectly, in the field of business and human rights.  These are among the mandates that we are able to highlight:

Representing an English company in defending ten Business and Human Rights cases before the English courts

Advising a multinational mining company on a range of Business and Human Rights matters

Revising a natural resource company’s human rights policies in response to government inquires and English High Court litigation

Designing a system of operational level grievance mechanisms for a European company with a complex supply chain in the agricultural sector

Advising a major telecommunications company on joining the Global Compact and other multi-stakeholder initiatives, its own code of conduct and related legal risks

Advising a consortium of asset managers and pension funds on an major energy investment in a country emerging from a long-running civil conflict

Advising and representing one of the world’s largest mining companies on a range of human rights related risks in Africa and Australasia

Designing human rights compliance systems for a major American company whose supply chain is vast and complex

Advising a privately-held conglomerate and training its in-house lawyers on a range of issues arising under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Advising a British mining company on Business and Human Rights issues in Africa

Representing a State in the former Soviet Union in defending against a claim involving human rights brought by a foreign investor under a bilateral investment treaty

Advising an asset manager on human rights-related risks in connection with its acquisition of an energy company in a war-torn country

Representing a State in the Middle East in defending against a claim involving human rights brought by a foreign investor under a bilateral investment treaty

Representing a State in Africa in a State-to-State claims commission including defending claims involving human rights

Advising a State-owned resource company in Asia against accusations of human rights violations in its business in Africa

Advising international organisations, multilateral development banks and national trade credit agencies in relation to human rights issues in their operations