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Herbert Smith Freehills has launched HSF Impact, the firm's social finance and sustainable investment practice.

Through HSF Impact, the firm advises founders, investors, asset managers and social finance intermediaries on legal and commercial issues when establishing, scaling and investing in social enterprises.

Alex Kay, Corporate Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills who spearheads the practice said, "Entrepreneurs everywhere are devising innovative commercial solutions to social and environmental challenges. A robust legal foundation is fundamental in order to safeguard and strengthen long-term social and financial returns. HSF Impact is our commitment to supporting sustainable investment clients on their journey to do well by doing good."

HSF Impact operates across different sectors, focusing on issues related to education, energy, agribusiness, financial inclusion, climate change, consumer products, housing and healthcare.

The practice will draw upon the firm's multi-disciplinary teams across all jurisdictions to provide clients with technical advice on the full range of legal issues, including intellectual property, data protection, tax, corporate structuring, commercial agreements, capital raising, finance, real estate and dispute resolution.

In addition, HSF Impact will leverage the firm's pro bono practice to deliver free legal support to socially responsible investors, investees and intermediaries.

The firm has already been working with sustainable investment clients for the past decade. This includes advising:

  • AgDevCo (Africa) on investment readiness for potential investee social enterprises
  • Beam (UK) on corporate structure, charity partnership agreements and issues arising in relation to crowdfunding
  • CreditEnable (India) on commercial agreements and on its initial fundraising rounds, including by way of convertible debt
  • Danone (France) on the amendments of a €2 billion green revolving credit facility agreement to include ESG criteria
  • Sky (UK) on the establishment of the Sky Ocean Rescue Fund and related downstream investments
  • TerraWatt (France) on its corporate structure and commercial agreements
  • The Big Issue's Homes for Homes (Australia) on a range of real estate, corporate and commercial issues

More examples of Herbert Smith Freehills' recent sustainable investment deals and more information on HSF Impact can be found here.

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Lydia Lam

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