Sackers launches free ESG legal guide

The law firm hopes the guide will enable pension trustees to ‘challenge their advisers’ on ESG


Joe McGrath

Law firm Sackers has released a free ESG guide for pension trustees designed to encourage them to “challenge their advisers” on UK and European developments in sustainable finance legislation.

The report entitled “ESG and climate change” looks at the current fiduciary duties expected of pension trustees and corporate advisers and examines the legislative and policy changes of UK and European governments.

“2019 signals the time for action, and the focus now needs to be on ensuring trustees are prepared to put the last year of discussion and debate into practice,” said Stuart O’Brien, a partner at Sackers.

“With so many factors, dates, views and issues to consider it is unsurprising that ESG is a topic that prompts confusion as to what definitive action trustees should be taking, and how best to implement their decisions.

“With investment regulations coming into effect from October, The Pension Regulator’s updated Code of Practice also expected later in the year, and further Financial Conduct Authority consultations expected any day, trustees have a busy year ahead.”

The guide contains specific assistance on trustee obligations under IORP II and the second Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II) as well as issues that may arise from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures over the coming 12 months.

“Our latest guide includes a full action plan for trustees, empowering them to get their scheme a step ahead, and equips them with the tools to challenge their advisers and ensure that the values of the scheme are accurately reflected in its ESG policies,” said O’Brien.

“Supporting trustees in this way ensures that schemes are able to put the complexities of ESG into practice effectively, ensuring not only compliance but also industry best practice.”

The full guide is available here.

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