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Parent company liability hurdles and "class actions": what comes next?

Since the Supreme Court's rulings in Vedanta Resources Plc v Lungowe [2019] UKSC 20 ("Vedanta") and HRH Emere Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell [2021] UKSC 3 ("Okpabi"), much has been written about the potential impact these decisions may have on UK-domiciled businesses with foreign operations and, in particular, how they will assist claimants who wish to initiate large-scale group litigation. 

UK High Court finds Government Net Zero Strategy "unlawful"

The High Court has ruled that the UK Government's Net Zero Strategy breaches its obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008. The ruling took place on 18 July 2022, following a case brought by Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth (inter alia), who alleged that the Government failed to produce detailed climate policies to show how the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets will be met, in line with its obligations under the Climate Change Act.  

The ever-expanding world of corporate sustainability reporting

The EU continues to beat a path to a more sustainable future. Nothing too new there, perhaps, but it is increasingly determined to bring the rest of the world along with it. It first proposed a directive on corporate sustainability reporting ("CSRD") in February 2021, which when proposed caused a stir for the significant expansion of non-financial information obligations on non-listed corporates. 

B2C marketing: CMA calls for businesses to disclose how "green" their products really are

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended legislating to impose a positive obligation on consumer-facing businesses to disclose information about the environmental impact of their products. It has also recommended changes designed to make it easier to enforce consumer law against companies making misleading environmental claims, to allow orders to be made requiring businesses to make redress payments for environmental harm and to increase supply chain transparency.

New ESMA supervisory briefing and ESA clarifications on the ever-changing SFDR regime

On 31 May 2022, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a supervisory briefing (the Supervisory Briefing) addressed to EU national competent authorities (regulators) to promote "common supervisory practices" on the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and other pieces of EU legislation concerning financial sustainability. This was closely followed on 2 June 2022 by a publication of the European Supervisory Authorities – one of which is ESMA - (ESAs) which sets out clarifications (the ESA Clarifications) on the draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) under SFDR.

Glencore guilty pleas to offer welcome relief for SFO

Glencore has indicated that it will plead guilty to seven counts of bribery in connection with its oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and South Sudan. The Serious Fraud Office opened its investigation into Glencore's activities in 2019 and alleges that the commodities giant approved the payment of over $25m in bribes for preferential access to oil.

Questions on the interpretation of SFDR and the Taxonomy Regulation

On 13 May 2022, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) submitted a number of questions to the European Commission relating to the interpretation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Taxonomy Regulation (Taxonomy Regulation). Separately, the ESAs have also been asked by the European Commission for their input on possible amendments to the SFDR Delegated Regulation.

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