Revealed: The most eco-friendly law firms 2020-21

By on

‘Sustainability’ may have been one of the prominent buzzwords of 2020 but which law firms would David Attenborough be proud of?

The way in which businesses operate has come under major scrutiny in recent years as the threat of climate change has become ever-more pressing. With the government’s aim to reach net-zero by 2050, we looked to see which firms are on track to meeting this target (or even beating it!)

We put the question ‘How eco-friendly is your firm?’ to trainees and junior lawyers from nearly 100 of the nation’s leading corporate law firms, as part of our annual Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. Respondents then rated their places of work on a scale of one to ten — with one being ‘Not at all eco-friendly’ and ten being ‘Very eco-friendly’.

We have tallied up the results and below is the shortlist, listed alphabetically, of the top eco-warriors of the legal world 2020-21:

Burges Salmon
Clifford Chance
Hogan Lovells
Norton Rose Fulbright
Osborne Clarke
Pinsent Masons
Reed Smith
Taylor Wessing
Travers Smith
Weil Gotshal & Manges

The 2021 Firms Most List – featuring the Legal Cheek Survey results in full

As part of the survey, we gave the rookies themselves an opportunity to give a greater insight into the environmental efforts of their firms by submitting anonymous comments. Here are a select few from some of the firms listed above:

How eco-friendly is your firm?

“Hit our eco targets early. There’s a drive to be paperless, or at least paper-light and things such as lights are sensor related so turn off when no one is around to need them.”

“The firm has a great focus on net zero and renewable energy including in the design of our office space. Removing single use cups from the coffee counter has been a great success and we constantly look for ways to reduce our impact on the environment.”

“There are various eco-friendly initiatives, including no plastic cutlery/crockery, a beehive and recycling stations positioned all around the office. There is even a vegetable patch where old tea bags and coffee beans are composted.”

“Our firm is pro-actively trying to become more environmentally friendly ever year.”

“The firm makes a real effort when it comes to recycling. I think over 90% of waste is recycled.”

“The office canteen (pre-covid) had transitioned away from all single use plastics. There was a really big push from everyone to print less and be more eco-friendly.”

“There is a proactive shift towards being more sustainable and eco-friendly within the firm.”

The winning law firm in each category will be announced at The Legal Cheek Awards 2021, sponsored by BARBRI, on Thursday 25 March 2021.

The 2021 Firms Most List – featuring the Legal Cheek Survey results in full



For law firms “eco-friendly” cannot mean the office itself reduces carbon footprints, when the firms represent massive polluters and their representation largely involves protecting the right to pollute. Unless firms publish a carbon audit for clients these statements are at best meaningless PR puff and in truth are misleading lies about the harms these organisations cause.



#brave! A partner in my team had me print out and laminate copies of this for everyone in the team, because we’re so proud!


Magic circle paralegal

*Eco-friendly relative to their size. Let’s be honest, a smaller firm is going to be much more eco-friendly, and law firms in general will never be good for the environment.



A nonsense of a comment. Are you saying a smaller firm will be more eco-friendly simply on the basis that they have smaller operations? Does that mean a sole trader that chops down trees, burns oil all day and doesn’t recycle is more eco-friendly than a company with a >5000 headcount that has genuinely positive eco-friendly initiatives and reduces its carbon footprint where possible?



How does CMS make the list? Do they not (in non-COVID times) have an annual ‘World Cup’ where all the offices fly to a location to play football?



How could this possibly be reviewed in an objectively comparable way?



This list is utter shoite, like the rest of LC.


Comments are closed.

Related Stories