31 Mar 2021

Matheson unveils ESG group on eve of new EU sustainable finance rules

Twelve-partner team will advise on issues including climate action and supply chain management

Garret Farrelly

Matheson has enhanced its environmental, social and governance (ESG) capabilities with the launch of an ESG advisory group, laying claim to be one of the first Irish firms to establish a dedicated sustainability-focused team. 

The group will be led by the Dublin firm’s energy, natural resources, utilities and infrastructure practice head Garret Farrelly, who will be supported by a cross-practice team of 12 partners. 

Some of the key ESG areas the group’s cross-practice expertise will cover include climate action, data privacy, natural resources and utilities, waste and the circular economy, supply chain management, sustainable commercial real estate and construction, investment funds and employment practices. 

“The legal, regulatory and policy changes and trends we are seeing will have impacts for operating models in the short, medium and long term,” said Farrelly.

Tara Doyle, Matheson’s chairperson and a member of the new advisory group, added that ESG had become a “core” consideration for many clients given that the “increased regulatory focus on ESG reflects and addresses investor interest in socially responsible investment and ESG issues”.

Doyle pointed to the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which is set to come into force this month, as a new aspect of the sustainable finance agenda that clients must adhere to in order to meet the broadening range of ESG obligations. 

Farrelly and Doyle will be joined by partners Sally Anne Stone, Kimberley Masuda, David O’Mahony, Richard Kelly, Susanne McMenamin, Nicola Dunleavy, Bryan Dunne, Anne-Marie Bohan, Louise Dobbyn and Alan Keating. 

Alongside the advisory group launch, the firm will be introducing a digital ESG resource portal for Matheson clients looking to access the advisory group’s insights and knowledge online. The firm currently has locations in Dublin, Cork, London, New York, San Francisco and Palo Alto.

In February, Orrick hired ESG specialist Ashley Walters in Seattle from Fenwick & West, becoming one of the first partners in the US with a near-exclusive focus on providing ESG to clients in recognition of the growing influence of the ESG movement. 

In the same month, ex-Jones Day partner Ben McQuhae launched a sustainability and innovation-focused boutique law firm in Hong Kong aiming to operate at the intersection of law, ESG and technology. 

Further reading

The Global Legal Post timeline: ESG and the law

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