• Who-we-are-banner

    News

Spotlight on using Pro Bono to respond to the climate crisis

According to the UN, humanity is now on a “code red” when it comes to climate change. This was the warning from the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference that concluded climate change is now widespread, rapid and intensifying, with some trends already irreversible.

Given this consensus, it is incumbent on all law firms and lawyers to consider a climate-conscious approach to legal practice, including thinking about how to identify climate change risks, liabilities and potential greener courses of action. We first provided pro bono support to The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP) at its launch in 2019. In short, this is an industry initiative which helps lawyers to integrate climate change considerations into contracts. TCLP uses the power of pro bono to help drive sustainable behaviour in business and our communities.

TCLP is a collaborative initiative of lawyers and business leaders to develop template contract clauses that establish carbon reduction commitments in supply chains and in different sectors including property, construction, banking and finance, employment and corporate affairs. With 2030 just seven years away, TCLP’s mission is to use the power of contracts to deliver rapid decarbonisation at scale. By embedding clauses focused on carbon reduction into these contracts, the project aims to bring ever-growing climate concerns into the commercial sphere. As businesses contract with suppliers using these clauses, and those suppliers in turn contract with others, the focus on climate change multiplies across an ever-widening group.

We have committed to a 2030 net zero target and, having attended TCLP’s first Hackathon in November 2019, are an enthusiastic advocate and supporter of TCLP and its climate clauses. Alongside assisting with some initial drafting for their Climate Contract Playbook, which contains a collection of climate-conscious contract provisions and model laws, we have included adaptations of these clauses in some existing and long-term agreements with the Firm’s own suppliers. TCLP’s clauses have become a valuable resource at Charles Russell Speechlys and having facilitated internal presentations on TCLP’s clauses and how to use them, the TCLP resources are available for lawyers to use through the Firm’s drafting toolkits. They provide credible and reliable precedents for use in real-world contracts, allow for flexibility and can be adapted to what is best for our Firm and our clients’ climate ambitions and net zero commitments.

David Berry, Partner and General Counsel, is one of the leading lawyers in our work and has written a piece for TCLP on our partnership. “When negotiating supplier contracts, understanding their awareness and tailoring to their abilities to perform is essential whilst still setting challenging targets depending upon where the supplier is on the pathway to helping combat climate change,” he says. “Use of the TCLP toolkit is an excellent place for firms to either commence or continue their TCLP journeys, which, through increasing firm-wide awareness, open up new opportunities to use clauses in client work.”

Becky Annison, Director of Comms and Engagement at TCLP says “When you are seriously implementing carbon targets, you have to look at rewiring your agreements. This embeds climate solutions directly into commercial decision-making – because contracts are legally enforceable. That means there are consequences for failure. Our best-in-class climate clauses turn climate pledges into hard targets in the same way that contract terms do with pricing, delivery times and service specifications. You wouldn’t leave profit margins to chance and a handshake. It’s time we applied the same to carbon emissions.”

Learn more about the work of TCLP by signing up to their newsletter and if you are interested in hearing more about our Pro Bono Practice, please contact Sarah Farrelly.

Our thinking

  • Women in Leadership: Planning for the future

    Sarah Wigington

    Events

  • Computer says No - my prediction of UK border chaos on Wednesday 1 January 2025

    Paul McCarthy

    Quick Reads

  • Providing pro bono support on social housing issues

    Susan Field

    Insights

  • Charles Russell Speechlys Partner Promotions 2024

    Bart Peerless

    News

  • Has a new route to recovery opened up for victims of banking payment frauds?

    Katie Bewick

    Insights

  • Charles Russell Speechlys boosts its Real Estate offering with the arrival of Kim Lalli and Rafe Courage

    Kim Lalli

    News

  • Cosmopolitan quotes Sarah Jane Boon on how to deal with break-up admin

    Sarah Jane Boon

    In the Press

  • Property Patter: Building and Fire Safety Miniseries - part 1

    Michael O'Connor

    Podcasts

  • Sex discrimination at work

    Michael Powner

    Insights

  • Daniel Sullivan writes for Law360 on hundreds of 'rogue filings' being lodged via Companies House and advice for affected banks

    Daniel Sullivan

    In the Press

  • The Financial Times, The Guardian and City AM quote Sophie Dworetzsky and Dominic Lawrance on Labour’s proposed tax crackdown on non-doms

    Sophie Dworetzsky

    In the Press

  • The Lawyer covers the launch of our new Advanced Client Solutions team

    Joe Cohen

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys expands innovation offering with creation of new Advanced Client Solutions team

    Joe Cohen

    News

  • Why Switzerland is poised to become a prime jurisdiction for families to establish their private trust companies

    Dharshi Wijetunga

    Insights

  • The Evening Standard quotes Kelvin Tanner on Skilled Worker Visa increases

    Kelvin Tanner

    In the Press

  • Property Patter: Net Zero Building Standard

    David Savage

    Podcasts

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Countryside Partnerships on its joint venture with Abri to develop 1,500 homes in West Sussex

    Sarah Wigington

    News

  • London’s Knowledge Clusters: From Emerging to Maturing – Start Ups on the Global Stage?

    Lynsey Inglis

    Quick Reads

  • Charles Russell Speechlys continues to bolster Banking & Finance practice with the recruitment of Philip Withey

    Philip Withey

    News

  • Charles Russell Speechlys boosts international private wealth offering with the arrival of Amira Shaker-Bortman

    Amira Shaker-Bortman

    News

  • Combatting lookalikes in the light of Thatchers v Aldi

    Mary Bagnall

    Insights

  • Mark Howard writes for the Evening Standard on the blocked Telegraph takeover, the NSI Act and the Enterprise Act 2002

    Mark Howard

    In the Press

  • Fashion and the Green Claims Code brought into focus by open letter from the CMA.

    Ilona Bateson

    Quick Reads

  • Will new powers at Companies House stop or slow down fraudsters?

    Peter Carlyon

    Quick Reads

  • Charles Russell Speechlys hosts international arbitration event in Dubai

    Peter Smith

    Quick Reads

  • It’s not just a High Court decision, it’s a successful M&S High Court Decision

    Sophie Willis

    Quick Reads

  • The ongoing fight against fakes

    Charlotte Duly

    Quick Reads

  • Planning essentials case update: when can an enforcement notice against an unlawful use also require the removal of related structures?

    Sadie Pitman

    Quick Reads

  • Dubai Court of Cassation Extends Arbitration Agreement Across Subsequent Contracts

    Peter Smith

    Quick Reads

  • Good news for users of the Madrid System

    Charlotte Duly

    Quick Reads

  • Michael Gove's announcement on transitional period for two staircase requirement for new residential buildings

    Melanie Hardingham

    Quick Reads

  • Navratri at Charles Russell Speechlys

    Arjun Thakrar

    Quick Reads

  • A Labour government: what might be in store for personal taxation?

    Sarah Wray

    Quick Reads

  • Office to Lab Conversions: A new lease of life (sciences) for some of London’s offices?

    Quick Reads

  • The Family Fund: Bank of Mum & Dad 2.0

    Vanessa Duff

    Quick Reads

  • The perpetual struggle between the environment, heritage and development: the M&S decision vs 55 Bishopsgate

    Sophie Willis

    Quick Reads

  • Treasury Committee endorses mandatory venture capital diversity policies from 2025

    Lia Renna

    Quick Reads

  • Oops!....I did it again - Britney's third divorce

    Charlotte Posnansky

    Quick Reads

  • Recognising financial abuse in a relationship

    Vanessa Duff

    Quick Reads

  • Do I really need listed building consent?

    Quick Reads

Back to top