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Top solicitors, barristers and judges unite to form climate change alliance

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A group of senior lawyers have drawn on their expertise to publish a series of contract clauses and laws to help tackle the climate crisis.

The Climate Contract Playbook and Green Paper of Model Laws is the first output of The Chancery Lane Project, a pro bono initiative made up of solicitors and barristers. The collaborative project was formed last year in response to mounting environmental concerns and the transition towards a green economy and 2050 net-zero carbon target.

The playbook is available to download from Tuesday and consists of 16 free-to-use contractual clauses to guide lawyers when drafting climate solutions for clients. These include a clause on terminating a contract in favour of a more climate-friendly supplier and a provision on climate sabbaticals. The green paper sets out seven “model laws” such as a proposal to change planning regulations to favour sustainable developments and an incentive to mobilise investment into tree planting.

A total of 120 solicitors, barristers and general counsel from over 60 firms took part in a hackathon last autumn to draft the first editions. Key players involved in the initiative include Caroline May, head of environment at Norton Rose Fulbright, Stephen Tromans QC of 39 Essex Chambers, Fiona Dormandy, general counsel at Airbnb and Supreme Court judge Lord Carnwath.

Carnwath said:

โ€œThe role for commercial lawyers to help tackle the climate crisis has been largely overlooked. Lawyers who draft the contracts that shape the economic relationships of our society must use these arrangements to enable rather than hinder the transition [to net-zero].”

He continued: โ€œI strongly welcome this initiative by The Chancery Lane Project. I add my encouragement to lawyers and businesses to use these contractual clauses whenever practicable, and to help the Project to improve and extend this work.”

May added:

โ€œThe Chancery Lane Project is a clarion call for the legal profession. Lawyers working together to frame a response to the most urgent issue of our times. Shaping laws which can drive real change. This is only the beginning of the story. I would encourage all lawyers whatever their specialism to embrace this initiative to see how working together we can make a difference.โ€

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News of the project which officially launches next Wednesday follows a recommendation to the judiciary by prominent eco-activist Donnachadh McCarthy to join climate change campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

Last year we reported that the legal arm of Extinction Rebellion had descended on the Royal Courts of Justice, calling for the profession to โ€œstep up and take a positive role in tackling the biggest challenge facing our planet”.

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8 Comments

Drederick Furmsworth QC

A Foxbat is a Russian fighter jet
But what about a fox bat?
A fox and a bat?
A bat in a fox?
A bat smashing smashing smashing foxes
Again and again
Right in their faces
That would be a fox bat

(6)(7)

mm

Dude this shit isn’t getting any funnier with repetition

(5)(1)

Anonymous

It is rather turgid trolling, but the poster thinks he is funnier than he his.

(4)(1)

Kirkland NQ

Now that I have joined the Labour party – should I join this alliance? Do these socialists serve champagne on their meetings? That would be a deal-breaker for me.

(6)(2)

Hamplanet

I know one barrister who flew over 10 times a year to NYC just for weekends and then bragged to everyone in chambers about how that got him British Airways Gold Executive Club membership.

Iโ€™m sure the profession canโ€™t wait to sign up for this initiative.

(12)(2)

Bamma

Literally nothing done by any individual, group, or organisation in the UK will have *the slightest* effect on climate change. Other than, I suppose, going to war with China and India and most of the rest of the world and shutting down their power stations. And you’re quite sensibly not going to do that are you, so how about putting a sock in all this pointless and tiresome virtue-signalling and doing some actual good in the world?

AirBnb’s general counsel Fiona Dormandy: want to make the world a better place? Give up the Greta Thunberg bollocks and run your filthy parasitic company into the ground.

(11)(9)

Priti Patelโ€™s gargantuan asshole

POINTS BASED SYSTEM, STOP THE IMMIGRANTS

(5)(2)

US Firm associate

Why is this a thing? Non-EU people had this system for years, works pretty well. I got my UK work tier visa this way, never had an issue (besides Home Office forgetting to send me my documents for a couple of weeks, but this is not too bad).

At least now the immigration system becomes much more lax and less restrictive (though it now includes people from the EU). For example, now the students can actually stay and work after studies and they finally scrapped that restriction on giving only 20,000 work visas per year (no idea who made up this number).

(6)(0)

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