We will be standing on the pavement outside a Magic Circle law firm on a regular basis, handing out leaflets and seeking to engage employees arriving for work. If you wish to join us, please contact LawyersAR@protonmail.com.
Following on from the publication of “The Carbon Circle: The UK Legal Industry’s Ties to Fossil Fuel Companies” we are taking action to engage with the “Magic Circle” law firms (Allen & Overy, Slaughter and May, Freshfields, Linklaters and Clifford Chance). We ask that they:
Do not accept any further instructions in relation to developing new, or the expansion of existing, fossil fuel infrastructure; that they refuse any such instructions for the foreseeable future and that they terminate the provision of their services to any clients in respect of any current instructions that will lead to developing new, or the expansion of existing, fossil fuel infrastructure.
We take this action in solidarity with young lawyers who are forced to choose between making a living and a livable future; and, crucially, with those on the frontline of the climate and ecological crises today who are already experiencing the devastating effects of the climate emergency.
Allen & Overy
On 15 May 2023, we sent a letter to the Senior Partner, Mr Wim Dejonghe, and the Managing Partner, Mr Gareth Price, of Allen & Overy. We provided 7 days to respond.
In those 7 days, it was reported that it was more likely than not that the world would exceed 1.5°C for the first time by 2027 (Global warming set to break key 1.5C limit for first time, BBC News, 17 May 2023).
In December 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), 195 nations had committed in the “Paris Agreement” to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels“.
It is now evident that the Paris Agreement has failed to limit global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels.
Since the Paris Agreement was signed, Allen & Overy has conducted a significant amount of fossil fuel transactional work. According to “The Carbon Circle” report, between 2018 – 2022 Allen & Overy conducted £89 billion worth of fossil fuel transactions, a higher volume than any other single Magic Circle law firm.
We also hand-delivered a copy of the letter to Allen & Overy’s London Office on 22 May 2023.
To date, we have not received a response to our letter. It is available to be read below:
Follow up to Allen & Overy
On 18 July 2023, with the Northern Hemisphere in the grip of unprecedented temperatures as a result of four simultaneous heat domes, we followed up with Allen & Overy. Our letter is available to be read below.
If we do not hear further from Allen & Overy, we will be taking steps to escalate our actions.
Slaughter and May
On 5 July 2023, we sent a letter to the Senior Partner, Mr Steve Cooke, and the Managing Partner, Ms Deborah Finkler, of Slaughter and May. We provided 7 days to respond.
Slaughter and May have been in touch and we have agreed to a meeting at which we can exchange views.
On 18 July 2023 – and with a decision imminent from the government’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) on the Rosebank oil and gas field – we wrote to Clifford Chance, who act for Equinor, the operators of the field.
In a month which has already featured the hottest temperatures on Earth for 125,000 years, we wrote to the Global Senior Partner, Adrian Cartwright, and the Global Managing Partner, Charles Adams. We provided 7 days for a response.
Our letter is available to be read below:
On 27 July 2023, we sent a letter to the Senior Partner, Ms Georgia Dawson, and the London Managing Partner, Mr Mark Sansom, of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. We provided 7 days to respond.