At Paul Hastings, we believe it’s smart business to create not only value for our clients, but for society as a whole. We take seriously our responsibility of environmental stewardship, and strive to ensure that sustainable best practices are embedded into all areas of our practice. We are committed to changing mindsets, not just behaviors, and look to provide innovative solutions for today’s most pressing environmental issues.
We continued our longstanding relationship with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), advising on a range of matters in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Our efforts include collaborating on a project regarding accessibility issues under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, advising on the installation of artificial reefs on the Gulf Coast, and drafting new U.K. service contract templates. In partnership with the TNC, we also held a CLE event this past summer on innovative research on protecting lands in the Caribbean, with more than 100 of our lawyers participating from nine offices.
Our Tokyo office continued its work with the Ecocap Movement, a non-profit organization that promotes resource recycling, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, and providing vaccines to children in developing countries through the collection and sale of plastic bottle caps. Donated caps are recycled into new products, with proceeds from the sale of these products donated to the Japan Committee for Vaccines for the World’s Children.
Our commitment to environmental stewardship includes not only enacting our own positive environmental practices, but also partnering with our clients to address critical environmental issues. Our pro bono sustainability efforts span the globe. In one recent example, our Shanghai office advised the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a U.S.-based environmental advocacy group, on its efforts to expand in China. The NRDC’s goal was to establish a Chinese entity in order to further its international fundraising efforts. Our Shanghai team assisted with the NRDC’s application for charitable status and tax exemption. The NRDC now successfully uses its Hong Kong-based entity for fundraising purposes, and Paul Hastings lawyers in Shanghai continue to advise our client on ongoing compliance with Hong Kong rules and regulations.
Over the past year we continued our support of ClientEarth, which works to protect the environment through advocacy, litigation, and research. Paul Hastings partner Pierre Kirch serves as an active advisor to ClientEarth and works closely alongside the organization to litigate key cases before the European courts. Currently, Pierre represents our client in three cases before the European courts concerning transparency/disclosure by the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency, and the European Food Safety Authority. Resolution of the cases is expected later this year. In addition, he helped secure a favorable preliminary reference ruling from the European Court of Justice in the London pollution levels case. Together with lawyers in our Shanghai office, Pierre also advised ClientEarth on expanding its operations in China.