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Changing the role of the legal profession from compliance to impact



In the first blog of our series, we introduced Yannick and Adrian from impactvise and learned more about why legal professionals are key players as companies, small to large, embark on their sustainability journeys.


In Part II, we're exploring a bit more how the role of legal profession can move simply from providing advice on compliance towards driving impact.


YH:

Multinational companies, and even midsize companies, are increasingly defining their ESG strategy. And that strategy not only encompasses the activities of the company, but also the broader value chain.


It is getting more and more important that there is a matching between the ESG values of a company and the behaviour or ESG values of the respective service providers, such as the law firms. That's for me a crucial element in the evolution of ESG and that is how lawyers can drive impact across the value chain.

AP:

Indeed, law firms are part of the value chain. I look at a law firm as having two sides of a coin.


One side is that they provide legal advice, which can have a huge impact. But it also depends on the way they give advice. It's not just saying this is legal or not. But it is about providing optionality to the client.


A lawyer can offer options A, B, C, D, and advise which one would be a long-term choice, which is more sustainable. Lawyers have a unique position because they're always at the table when important business decisions are taken.

On the other side, just giving legal advice is, as Yannick said, not acceptable anymore. The law firm needs to do its own homework, it needs to walk the talk, and it needs to do the same things that are expected of companies they advise. Law firms are – regardless of their ownership structure - huge businesses that have an imperative to look beyond the balance sheet.


There are lots of opportunities for law firms to create impact for their employees, but also for their clients and other key stakeholders.

Stay tuned: In our third blog, we will hear from Yannick and Adrian about law firms taking a stand on wider societal issues.

 

About us:

impactvise enables lawyers to act and advise for positive impact by providing industry-leading ESG data analytics, sustainability-oriented consulting, and educational training for the legal services sector.

Ampersand Partners is a management consultancy bringing strategic clarity and execution momentum to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, regenerative economy. The Energy Transition and Sustainability practice helps energy companies navigate the energy transition and non-energy clients deliver their net zero ambitions.