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Business and Human Rights

Managing risks responsibly

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The expectation that commercial organisations should assess and avoid the risk of their business adversely impacting human rights is now firmly established in international standards, corporate policies and, increasingly, in domestic laws and regulations. 

Our global cross-practice team works with clients to identify and avoid risks to human rights, and to manage the associated risks to their own business.  

Members of our practice have been involved in the development and implementation of core international standards in this area over the last decade – most importantly the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  

We also offer market-leading expertise in public international law, crisis management and dispute resolution, working with clients across all major sectors and geographies to solve their most complex human rights challenges.

We can help you to:

  • Recognise, and position yourself to take advantage of, the many opportunities presented by the evolving business and human rights landscape
  • Develop corporate human rights policies and governance frameworks
  • Conduct human rights due diligence, impact assessment and stakeholder engagement including structuring, strategy and issue prioritisation
  • Manage risks in the context of business relationships and transactions, including through contractual requirements and codes of conduct
  • Comply with national and international reporting requirements and standards
  • Design effective processes to identify and mitigate modern slavery risk, and to comply with reporting obligations
  • Establish and implement human rights grievance mechanisms
  • Investigate and resolve disputes

 

For more latest thinking on Business and Human Rights visit our hub.

Business and Human Rights hub

Recent Experience

Investing in complex jurisdictions

Advising a global energy company on the human rights and international law implications of a potential investment in a disputed territory.

Use of products

Advising a global technology company on the human rights impacts of the use of their products and the implications for the business of allegations relating to the same.

Strategic advice

Advising a major listed mining company on a multi-jurisdiction review of human rights related to the client’s participation in various joint-venture projects

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Insights and updates

8th December 2021
The UK's new Environment Act 2021 (the "Environment Act") introduces a prohibition on the use...
3rd December 2021
On 2 December 2021 the Australian Parliament passed the Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Magnitsky-style and Other...
27th October 2021
International law firms have an essential role to play in advancing ESG. Within Herbert Smith...
The group drafting a new UN treaty adds to global pressure for mandatory human rights...

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