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Global Guide

Business & Human Rights Law — Global-wide


Clifford Chance LLP - Business & Human Rights Law

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Commentary from the Chambers Global guide

What the team is known for Global corporate powerhouse with a substantial and widely commended business and human rights practice headquartered in London. Singled out by several leading market commentators for the central support that the team provided the UN and its key representatives during the development of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Has significant experience in a wide range of human rights-related issues, including due diligence and risk management matters arising out of international corporate and investment transactions, particularly relating to the energy industry. Also advises corporations on reporting requirements and the development of associated human rights policies and relevant clauses in commercial agreements.

Strengths The practice is described by market commentators as a significant presence in the field which "really stands out for its breadth, depth and geographical spread."

One especially impressed source remarks on the firm's commitment to this field, saying: "They've built a knowledgeable team, and they try to put the human rights lens on all of their work. I've been very pleased with them all, and they have a real understanding of the underlying principles."

Notable practitioners

Rae Lindsay is based in London and co-heads the firm's business and human rights initiative, while also maintaining an internationally respected public international law and dispute resolution practice. Prominent market commentators highlight her as having a ubiquitous presence in this developing area of law and being "one of the international thought leaders in this area. She is clearly at the top of the list of any lawyers who I would think of as knowledgeable about business and human rights." She is widely admired for the role she played in helping to advise on the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the subsequent implementation of those principles by multinational companies in commercial contracts and corporate governance policies. Her peers mark her out as "a splendid person and excellent human rights lawyer." One source notes: "She has done extremely well, is patient, and perseveres. I have a lot of respect for her and will often seek her advice."

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Foley Hoag LLP - Business & Human Rights Law

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Commentary from the Chambers Global guide

What the team is known for Washington, DC-based practice widely acknowledged as the leading corporate social responsibility team in the USA. Features several highly touted partners and associates who form a committed business and human rights practice with recognised expertise in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, among several other fields including environmental mandates and the rights of indigenous populations. Advises clients on assessing the social and environmental risks of their global operations as well as the development of businesses' human rights policies.

Strengths Regarding the firm's position in the global market, sources consistently highlight Foley Hoag as being "very much ubiquitous in the USA for business and human rights work, they really are a premier practice."

One commentator summarises the team's strengths, noting: "Their substantive knowledge is strong, and the team are all certainly people that I would identify as advisers who you would think to go to if you had a discreet issue."

Notable practitioners

Sarah Altschuller is based in Washington, DC and marked out by interviewees in both Europe and the USA as a key voice in the country's corporate social responsibility community. One source describes her as "a really first-rate practitioner who is on top of a lot of this business and human rights work." She acts for companies on their compliance with international regulatory requirements and the implementation of corporate social responsibility policies, predominantly in relation to US businesses.

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Herbert Smith Freehills - Business & Human Rights Law

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Commentary from the Chambers Global guide

What the team is known for Internationally recognised force in the developing business and human rights field, with key teams of expert partners and associates leading the practice in Paris and London, with further experience to be found in the firm's associated Indonesia-based dispute resolution team. Features leading figures with outstanding knowledge of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and also domestic human rights legislation, including the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. Highlighted by sources for its high capability in advising on both compliance issues associated with sizeable commercial transactions, as well as complex international disputes. Has further experience in assisting in-house counsel with human rights training sessions and the development of company human rights policies.

Strengths Speaking about Herbert Smith's involvement in a challenging international mandate, one experienced market commentator says: "They did a terrific job. They stepped in, quickly put together a large team and produced a very high-quality and sophisticated product at short notice. The firm's approach to human rights issues was sophisticated, and they have a very fine sense of how to navigate those issues."

Work highlights Advised Rio Tinto on several complex human rights concerns relating to a USD20 billion integrated mining project in Guinea, including compliance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as well as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. Also assisted with issues pertaining to the involuntary resettlement and compensation of local communities and environmental matters.

Assisted China Molybdenum with human rights due diligence matters concerning the company's acquisition of Freeport-McMoRan's interest and indirect interest in two copper-cobalt mine and exploration projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, worth in excess of USD2.65 billion.

Significant clients The firm represents several major multinational corporations in the heavy industry, technology and mining sectors, such as Hitachi, Rio Tinto and China Molybdenum. The team also possesses a great deal of experience working alongside and supporting international NGOs and charities, including Focus on Labour Exploitation and Anti-Slavery International.

Notable practitioners

Stéphane Brabant is based in Paris and serves as co-head of the firm's business and human rights practice, while also being co-chair of its Africa group. Regarding Brabant's closely related human rights and African practices, one source says: "The fact that he combines the really hands-on experience in Africa with an interest, passion and well-established expertise in the business and human rights arena I find to be a very unique combination. He is the obvious person to go to for his long-standing experience on the ground, as well as the strong determination to bring the business and human rights agenda forward. I really admire his incredible passion and enthusiasm for this field." Several other interviewees commend his deep-seated knowledge of human rights developments and the key roles he played in the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers. One commentator says: "He is very passionate about driving this forward, and is one of the very few senior lawyers who has been closely involved in this process since the beginning of the UN mandate."

Antony Crockett is based in Jakarta with Herbert Smith Freehills' associated Indonesian law firm Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung. Leading market commentators are quick to highlight his significant sector expertise and knowledge of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, with one interviewee describing him as "an outstanding lawyer in this area," adding: "He's very dynamic and really knows his stuff. I think he's going to be one of the future leaders in the field." He is especially well versed in mandates relating to South-East Asia.

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Band 1

Stéphane Brabant

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Global guide

Stéphane Brabant is based in Paris and serves as co-head of the firm's business and human rights practice, while also being co-chair of its Africa group. Regarding Brabant's closely related human rights and African practices, one source says: "The fact that he combines the really hands-on experience in Africa with an interest, passion and well-established expertise in the business and human rights arena I find to be a very unique combination. He is the obvious person to go to for his long-standing experience on the ground, as well as the strong determination to bring the business and human rights agenda forward. I really admire his incredible passion and enthusiasm for this field." Several other interviewees commend his deep-seated knowledge of human rights developments and the key roles he played in the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers. One commentator says: "He is very passionate about driving this forward, and is one of the very few senior lawyers who has been closely involved in this process since the beginning of the UN mandate."

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Band 1

Clifford Chance LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Rae Lindsay is based in London and co-heads the firm's business and human rights initiative, while also maintaining an internationally respected public international law and dispute resolution practice. Prominent market commentators highlight her as having a ubiquitous presence in this developing area of law and being "one of the international thought leaders in this area. She is clearly at the top of the list of any lawyers who I would think of as knowledgeable about business and human rights." She is widely admired for the role she played in helping to advise on the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the subsequent implementation of those principles by multinational companies in commercial contracts and corporate governance policies. Her peers mark her out as "a splendid person and excellent human rights lawyer." One source notes: "She has done extremely well, is patient, and perseveres. I have a lot of respect for her and will often seek her advice."

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Band 2

Sarah Altschuller

Foley Hoag LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Sarah Altschuller is based in Washington, DC and marked out by interviewees in both Europe and the USA as a key voice in the country's corporate social responsibility community. One source describes her as "a really first-rate practitioner who is on top of a lot of this business and human rights work." She acts for companies on their compliance with international regulatory requirements and the implementation of corporate social responsibility policies, predominantly in relation to US businesses.

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Band 2

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Nicole Bigby of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is based in London and maintains noted expertise in the field of strategic risk management and corporate governance. She attracts substantial praise from sources for her "very sophisticated and forward-thinking" approach to the field of business and human rights. One especially impressed interviewee remarks: "I think Nicole probably has the best sense of anyone of the practical details of the UN Guiding Principles and how they apply to the legal profession. I think the world of her, and she is, in my mind, a thought leader who I go to for inspiration for all of these issues."

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Band 2

Elise Groulx-Diggs

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers Global guide

Elise Groulx-Diggs is an associate tenant at Doughty Street Chambers in London while also being based in Washington, DC, with further experience working in France, Canada and Senegal. She is recognised by global commentators as a leading lawyer in the fields of international criminal law and human rights law, and possesses substantial expertise relating to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as domestic legislation such as the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. She attracts particular praise from interviewees for her deep-seated commitment to this field and diverse background, and one source remarks: "Elise is deeply knowledgeable about virtually every facet of the field of business and human rights. Combined with her broad range of contacts internationally, this knowledge carries formidable weight and influence. In addition, Elise has a personal warmth and concern for the people with whom she works, which builds trust, creative energy and a sense of shared vision in her projects."

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Allens

From the Chambers Global guide

Rachel Nicolson of Allens is based in Melbourne and is singled out by commentators in both Europe and the USA as Australia's leading business and human rights expert. Sources are quick to highlight her significant contributions to the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and she maintains valuable experience advising corporations on their human rights obligations in various regions including Asia and Africa. One interviewee says: "She's somebody that has been very prominent and active for many years, and is the one practitioner that I would think of in Australia. She has a great practice, is known worldwide for her expertise in the field, and is a pre-eminent name in Australia."

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Martijn Scheltema

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn N.V.

From the Chambers Global guide

Martijn Scheltema of Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn N.V. is based in The Hague. One source describes him as "a tremendous and very technical lawyer," adding: "If I need some advice on a highly technical legal issue, I would go to him. On top of that, he has the soul of human rights as well. He is part of the small group of worldwide lawyers who knows human rights very well." Interviewees highlight his knowledge of cutting-edge human rights issues and his experience in corporate due diligence, contract and supply chain assessments, and remedies-related matters.

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Up and Coming

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Global guide

Antony Crockett is based in Jakarta with Herbert Smith Freehills' associated Indonesian law firm Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung. Leading market commentators are quick to highlight his significant sector expertise and knowledge of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, with one interviewee describing him as "an outstanding lawyer in this area," adding: "He's very dynamic and really knows his stuff. I think he's going to be one of the future leaders in the field." He is especially well versed in mandates relating to South-East Asia.

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Up and Coming

Fietta LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Sarah Macrory of Fietta is based in London and possesses valuable past experience working at the Permanent Court of Arbitration and as part of the business and human rights teams at the UN. In addition to her experience assisting with complex human rights cases, she is also well versed in the fields of international investment arbitration, treaty and boundary disputes. One impressed interviewee says: "She is extremely professional and we really enjoyed working with her, and we have a lot of respect for her and her understanding of these issues. She's very curious, dynamic and hard-working, and I would have no hesitation in recommending her."

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