Herbert Smith Freehills names lawyer quartet to global ESG leadership

Firm names ESG leaders for UK, US and EMEA to support global practice head Silke Goldberg

Iria Calviño(l) and Ben Rubinstein Images courtesy of Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed new regional leaders for its ESG team, as demand for sustainability and climate-related advice continues to grow.

The new leaders effectively succeed partner Rebecca Perlman, who led HSF’s ESG practice for the UK, US and EMEA before joining Kirkland & Ellis’s London office earlier this month.  

Sustainability and energy transition specialist Jannis Bille has been named head of ESG in the UK. A senior associate, he advises clients on ESG and climate change issues, as well as supporting them on domestic and international power projects and energy and infrastructure developments.  

Meantime, New York litigator Ben Rubinstein has been made head of ESG in the US. He joined the firm as a partner in 2013 from Chadbourne & Parke and counsels clients on issues relating to ESG liability risks and disclosures across the energy, mining, consumer and financial services sectors.

Rounding out the appointments are partners Heike Schmitz and Iria Calviño, based in Frankfurt and Madrid respectively, who have been named joint heads of ESG in EMEA.  

Schmitz focuses on sustainable and impact investing and the implementation of the EU Sustainable Finance framework for funds, asset managers, insurers and pension funds across Europe, while Calviño has almost two decades’ experience in administrative and environmental law and advises clients on national and cross-border transactions in regulated sectors including energy, mining and water. 

The new leaders will support London-based energy partner Silke Goldberg, who was named global head of the practice when it was launched in 2021.  

Since then HSF’s ESG practice has grown to house more than 100 partners and 240 more lawyers, who advise on matters including energy transition, green and sustainable finance, responsible investment, sustainability reporting and governance, and ESG-related due diligence, investigations and disputes, as well as human rights.

Goldberg said of the appointments: “Expectations around ESG have broadened over recent years to the point that successfully managing the risks and opportunities stemming from issues as diverse as human rights and environmental law to governance and responsible investing is the key to driving business value and enhancing long-term resilience.

“Through their collective experience, Jannis, Ben, Heike and Iria are well-placed to ensure our growing team continues to advise clients about current issues and alert them to future risks. I look forward to watching them develop our practice as ESG issues continue to dominate the political, regulatory and business agendas.”

The four new appointees will join Antony Crockett, head of ESG in Asia and global head of business and human rights, and Timothy Stutt, head of ESG in Australia, on the firm’s ESG global leadership team.

Addleshaw Goddard also bolstered its ESG ranks recently with the hire of London partner David Alfrey in February from Clifford Chance, where he founded and was a member of the global ESG board.

And last October Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired partner Doug Bryden in London from top UK independent Travers Smith, where he was co-head of its ESG and impact group. 

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