Anthony Collins Solicitors have been involved in The Chancery Lane Project, a project which works to use legal frameworks to enable organisations and communities to have a positive impact on the environment - in an enforceable way.

​Climate change and biodiversity are areas in which significantly faster changes are needed on both a global and local basis. To that end, the New Year could be a prompt for charitable, housing and local authority organisations to consider their roles in promoting the zero carbon and biodiversity agenda.  

An easy step forward is to consider your approach to enforceable obligations in your supply chains and transactions. Many organisations already have “soft” social and climate requirements, but these tend to be hidden away deep in a schedule or at the back of tender documents. These “soft” requirements are not effectively integrated into the main specification or contract terms which means that they lose visibility and are not enforced.

For the past year, we have been assisting in the Chancery Lane Project, a collaborative endeavour to create legal frameworks to facilitate organisations and communities to have a positive impact on the environment in an enforceable way.

Drafting climate-conscious legal enforceable solutions requires a range of expertise and we have used our experience in areas such as procurement, commercial, governance, planning and development to help draft a range of ambitious model clauses for use in a multitude of contracting arrangements. Here is a snapshot of just a few of those circumstances where Anthony Collins Solicitors can use the Chancery Lane Project output to support you:

  • Having the right to break supply contracts where the client has identified an alternative supplier that offers more environmentally friendly goods or services;
  • Incorporating energy efficiency, environmental obligations and waste management into standard Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) construction contracts;
  • Balancing climate change and environmental issues against maximising financial returns for the landowner and promoter by the use of amendments to standard land promotion agreements and precedents;
  • Standard reports on title for the acquisition of property in the UK do not include statements relating to the future risks of climate change that may affect the property. Given the wide acceptance of climate change science and the articulation of climate change risks by the Bank of England and others, this is something buyers should be aware of prior to purchase;
  • Incentivising more people to act against climate change through employment clauses;
  • Private and public bridging finance and investment often don’t explicitly align with the UK Government’s net-zero policy target. Therefore, finance is mobilised to achieve business growth and economic activity without reference to long term policy and mitigation of climate change.

Whilst it is clear that new legislation will continue to be passed in this area (noting the Environment Bill due for passage in 2021 and the current Private Members’ Bill the Climate and Ecological and Emergency Bill), organisations who want to address our planet’s risks do not need to wait for legislation or international treaties to be made. Organisations can rewire their legal documents and processes to effect change now and we are in an excellent position to assist with this.

Anthony Collins Solicitors is committed to empowering and inspiring its lawyers to help our client base in their transition into net-zero and to defending the ecology of our planet. We would be delighted to discuss further with you how we can assist you on this important journey.

For more information

For further information in relation to any of the above, please contact your relevant ACS contact, Natalie Barbosa or Richard Brooks.