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Travers Smith LLP is delighted to announce the appointments of Doug Bryden and Heather Gagen as Co-Heads of ESG and Impact.


Travers Smith LLP is delighted to announce the appointments of Doug Bryden and Heather Gagen as Co-Heads of ESG and Impact. The newly appointed Co-Heads will have responsibility for co-ordinating the firm's client delivery and knowledge offering on ESG and will lead the firm's ESG and Impact Group, supported by Simon Witney, Senior Consultant at the firm and a specialist in sustainable finance regulation, plus a team of partner specialists.

Doug and Heather's appointments reflect the breadth and depth of the firm's cross-disciplinary ESG practice which now includes over 15 partners and more than 50 lawyers from across the firm.

Doug Bryden is the firm's Head of Environment & Operational Regulatory. His practice spans transactional, advisory and contentious matters and focuses on a range of ESG and regulatory compliance, risk and liability management issues. Heather Gagen is a partner in the Dispute Resolution team. She is an expert in advising clients in relation to corporate risk management including business and human rights issues and ESG-related risk.

Further demonstrating the firm's commitment to and expertise in the ESG space, Travers Smith recently launched its innovative ESG and Sustainable Finance Academy. Led by Simon Witney and Knowledge Counsel Carys Clipper, this year-long, in-depth training programme has had high levels of engagement from all lawyers at the firm, as well as Business Services teams

Doug Bryden commented:

"ESG is an important topic for all our clients as regulation and scrutiny continues to rise – Travers Smith is well placed to meet this increasing demand on our clients, and I look forward to taking our market-leading knowledge and expertise to the next level."

Heather Gagen commented:

"The breadth of areas covered by the term ESG is wide and I'm excited to work with Doug to leverage our multi-disciplinary experience. We want to stay ahead in this evolving market and continue to provide best in class and innovative advice to our clients and their businesses."

Edmund Reed, Managing Partner, commented:

"The firm remains at the forefront of ESG, driven by our cross-practice initiative which has ensured we stay at the cutting edge of developments for our clients in this very fast moving area. The appointments of Doug and Heather reflect our commitment to continuing to lead the market in terms of our expertise and in helping clients navigate the changing commercial landscape in this area."

Kathleen Russ, Senior Partner, commented:

"ESG continues to be of key strategic importance to us and our clients. Having Doug and Heather to lead this group will continue to enhance our ESG client offering and knowledge."

Doug Bryden, Heather Gagen and Simon Witney will be supported by Partners Adam Wyman (Employment), Phil Bartram (Financial Services and Markets) and Jonathan Gilmour (Derivatives and Structured Products) in leading the firm's client offering on ESG and Impact.

Travers Smith's ESG practice was established over 10 years ago, centred around the firm's Environmental and Operational Regulatory team, who maintain 'core' regulatory expertise in the environmental, climate, human rights, and financial crime regimes. Given the pervasiveness of ESG issues, over the years, Travers Smith has developed embedded ESG expertise within every practice area across the firm.

Recent ESG highlights include:

  • Advised a large proportion of the UK, EU, and global alternative asset manager market on compliance with the EU’s flagship ESG / Sustainable Finance regimes, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and
  • Advising a large number of alternative asset managers on the emerging UK equivalent Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) and Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) regime and other UK energy reporting regimes such as SECR and ESOS.
  • Advising Investec Bank plc (Investec) on an ESG-linked subscription facility provided to Investindustrial, one of Europe's leading independent investment groups. The facility is one of the first ESG-linked subscription lines in the European fund finance market.
  • Advising Bridgepoint on ESG and Risk Review diligence solutions.
  • Advising the London Stock Exchange Group plc on the development of its derivatives exchange for funds invested in voluntary carbon credits, designed to offset carbon emissions.
  • Advising Incubex, a leading US-based financial services provider, on two highly complex strategic collaborations relating to climate risk financial markets: a) with Trayport (part of TMX Group) to create a new Voluntary Climate Marketplace and an electronic platform for trading Voluntary Carbon Offsets; and b) with EEX and Nodal Exchange to expand the number listed environmental markets and products on the latter's platforms.
  • Advising the schemes of AXA, BAESystems, Associated British Foods and other on numerous ESG issues including TCFD reporting and net zero targets.
  • Recent mandates for our transactional lawyers to advise clients on impact investments.
  • Advising RBS International, Jersey Branch (RBSI) on the €210 million sustainability-linked revolving credit facility provided to Europa Capital, on behalf of its latest value add fund, Europa Fund VI. This is the largest sustainability-linked loan RBS International has provided in the real estate sector.
  • Advising long-standing client Social and Sustainable Capital LLP ("SASC") on the successful first closing of Social and Sustainable Housing II LP (the "SASH II"). SASH II has a target of £125 million of commitments by final close.
  • Supporting the LSE in developing a Voluntary Carbon Market for financing climate change
  • Advising Camellia plc on the defence of two separate sets of proceedings against it and two of its English subsidiaries involving novel "parent company liability" claims. These involved alleged human rights abuses in the operations of two overseas subsidiaries of the Camellia group in Kenya and Malawi respectively.
  • Advising in relation to the establishment of Operational-Level Grievance Mechanisms consistent with UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Key contacts

Read Simon Witney Profile
Simon Witney
Read Doug Bryden Profile
Doug Bryden
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