BonelliErede sets up dedicated ESG group as sustainability issues rise
Milan-based firm’s ESG team will be led by 12 partners across a range of practices
Italy’s BonelliErede has launched a specialist environmental, social and governance (ESG) group, the latest global firm to increase its focus on sustainability and meet client demand for ESG-related support.
The ESG group has been formed out of the Milan-based firm’s corporate governance team, which will oversee the group. The ESG team is comprised of lawyers from across different practice areas who will advise companies on matters such as environmental law, human capital management, corporate governance and sustainable finance. It will also support corporates with their ESG goals and carbon reduction targets.
Stefano Simontacchi, president of BonelliErede and leader of the corporate governance team, said: “With the increasing importance of ESG challenges at corporate level and the new regulatory framework, the business world can no longer put off addressing core ESG issues – increasingly seen as business issues – such as climate change, environmental impact and sustainable growth.”
Simontacchi added that the ESG group will take a holistic approach to these issues that will go beyond regulatory and compliance requirements.
He said: “We manage the entire life cycle of each project – from the drafting of ESG policies to their approval and implementation – also working in tandem with companies and institutions to establish best practices in corporate governance.”
The group will be led by 12 partners, including corporate lawyers Carlo Montagna, Alessandro Musella, Barbara Napolitano, Francesca Secondari and Giovanni Domenichini, banking and finance partner Massimiliano Danusso, IP and privacy law partner Tommaso Faelli, employment law expert Giovanni Muzina, administrative law partner Luca Perfetti, criminal law partner Francesco Sbisa and litigation partner Lazare Vittone. Simontacchi completes the dozen, adding tax law expertise.
A number of firms have been increasing their ESG capabilities over the past year. Last month, US firm Debevoise & Plimpton hired sustainability expert and former Linklaters lawyer Ulysses Smith as its first senior ESG adviser in New York. Back in March, Irish firm Matheson also created a 12-partner strong ESG group.
However, some firms are potentially not moving fast enough on ESG. More than half of law firms say they need to ramp up their ESG services to meet customer demand, according to a study by Landmark Information published last month. The survey also found that more than a third of firms (36%) were currently unable to meet that increased demand.