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Rebecca Perlman

Rebecca Perlman


Rebecca is a corporate lawyer, specialising in ESG, sustainable investment and impact finance.



Rebecca heads up our global Impact Investment and Social Finance practice and leads our ESG, Sustainability and Responsible Business practice in the UK, US and EMEA. 

She advises clients on matters relating to ESG-related regulation, soft law standards and voluntary compliance frameworks, ESG market disclosure and reporting, and issues regarding corporate purpose, including those relating to mission-driven organisations such as B Corps.

She also helps clients with ESG-related risk management, stakeholder engagement and corporate sustainability strategy, and she frequently advises on ESG issues in the context of transactions. She has extensive experience advising on domestic and international impact investment transactions in particular, including those involving registered charities and other regulated mission-driven entities. 

Rebecca has been recognised in NatWest's WISE100 list of the UK's most influential women in impact investment and in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 as “one of HSF’s most talented lawyers” and “a star pushing HSF forward in the ESG space”. She is listed as a “Rising Star” by The Legal 500 rankings, in which she is recommended for “providing a stellar service, with advice that is commercial, practical and technically excellent” and for “excellence in propelling the work of her clients”. Rebecca has also been recognised as a "Notable Practitioner" for ESG Risk in Chambers Global and is ranked by Chambers UK, with one client describing her as "the single most impressive solicitor" they "have ever worked with".

Rebecca has previously worked in the public and third sectors, having spent time on secondment with the UK’s National Council for Civil Liberties and with the Government of Sierra Leone, where she advised on the country’s response to the 2014 Ebola crisis. 

Rebecca chairs The Big Issue Invest Trust and is a non-executive director of the Impact Investing Institute and the UN Refugee Agency’s UK charity.

Rebecca's experience includes advising:

  • Numerous corporates and financial institutions, including listed companies, investment banks and PE houses, in relation to ESG regulations in the UK and EU
  • The Big Issue Group on the development of The Big Exchange, a financial marketplace providing access to ESG and impact investment opportunities for retail investors
  • A UK-based specialist alternative asset management group on ESG issues relating to its investment in a provider of broadband internet services
  • Impact Investment Partners on its commercial agreements and capital raise for the development of CreditEnable, a data analytics platform to improve access to capital for SMEs in emerging markets
  • The Shell Foundation regarding strategic governance issues and programme-related and mixed motive investments, including in relation to the FMO-backed $120million Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund
  • The Stone Family Foundation in relation to programme-related and mixed motive investments, and its wider social investment strategy
  • The Social Tech Trust in relation to social investments and arrangements with the Social Tech Venture Fund
  • The Impact Investing Institute in relation to strategic governance and regulatory matters, and regarding the European Commission's consultations on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, the revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive and the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy
  • Legal Response International in connection with the UNFCCC negotiations for the Paris Agreement and its implementation
  • The United Nations Refugee Agency in relation to the launch of its global consumer goods platform MADE51 and the establishment of its UK-based charity
  • The Nesta Foundation on the spin-out of a major UK public service innovation programme
  • GoFundMe regarding regulatory issues relating to the establishment of a presence in the UK 
  • Various corporates, including listed companies such as VivoPower, Kin + Carta and a major consumer goods plc, on issues relating to B Corp registration
  • Beam, the world's first crowdfunding platform to tackle homelessness, on corporate structuring, capital raising and commercial agreements
  • The Governments of Sierra Leone and Uganda in relation to national investment legislation
  • AgDevCo in relation to the restructuring of a Ghana-based potential investee
  • UnLtd in relation to arrangements with its partners, funders, investees and volunteers
  • Numerous charities on incorporation, charitable registration, social investment, corporate governance and the duties of charitable trustees




Rebecca studied Modern History at the University of Oxford, after which she completed her law conversion in London.

She holds a range of board and committee positions:

  • Non-executive Director, UK for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • Chair of the Board, Big Issue Invest Trust, The Big Issue Group
  • Advisory Committee Member, London Impact Investing Network
  • Member, Charity Law Association of England and Wales
  • Trustee, Freetown Foundation CIO
  • SME Advisory Board, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council 

Prior appointments include:

  • Director, African Commercial Law Foundation
  • Trustee, Prisoners' Advice Service
  • Member, Oxfam Lawyers Against Poverty Steering Committee
  • Member, European Banks Alliance Against Human Trafficking Expert Group


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