Law firms


Tools & guidance

"IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers", May 2016

"International Bar Association publishes business & human rights guidance for bar associations & lawyers", Oct 2014

"Law Society launches report on business and human rights [UK]", Law Society of England & Wales, 19 Mar 2014

"The UN Guiding Principles: Practical Implications for Business Lawyers", John F. Sherman, In-House Defense Quarterly, Winter 2013

“Developing Corporate Human Rights Policies and the Role of Legal Counsel”, Cheryl Joseph, Stanford Law School, and Julia Cherlow, Stanford Law School for UN Global Compact Human Rights Working Group, Dec 2012

"The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: the implications for enterprises and their lawyers", Jonathan Bonnitcha, London School of Economics in Business and Human Rights Review, Autumn 2012

“UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights: What Lawyers Should Know”  (video), The American Bar Association's Center for Human Rights, Northeastern University School of Law's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute, 6 Jun 2012

“Professional Responsibility of Lawyers under the Guiding Principles”, John Sherman, General Counsel, Shift, Apr 2012

"Final report: International civil litigation for human rights violations", Intl. Law Association, 2012
also provided: Sofia Guidelines on best practices for intl. civil litigation for human rights violations

“The Global Lawyer: How Not to Be an Evil Law Firm”, Michael D. Goldhaber, American Lawyer Daily, 7 Dec 2011

"Law firms as businesses: the responsibility to respect human rights", John Sherman in Lawyers for Better Business, 28 Nov 2011

"Law Firms' Implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights: Discussion Paper", Advocates for Intl. Development (A4ID), Nov 2011

“Authentic leadership: The Lawyer’s Role in Corporate Social Responsibility, Business and Human Rights”, Chip Pitts, Stanford Law School & Oxford University, in Lawyers for Better Business, 5 Oct 2011

For further tools & guidance, see the Resource Centre’s Tools & Guidance Portal


Examples of uses

"Making the UN Guiding Principles Real for Corporate Lawyers"
John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative on business & human rights, on Microsoft on these Issues blog 18 Oct 2013

"Top City firms aim to develop human rights principles to guide work [UK]"
Sam Chadderton, Legal Futures (UK), 7 Aug 2013

"Magic circle firms draw up first human rights policies", Rebecca Lowe, Intl. Bar Association, 14 Jan 2013

"UN Guiding Principles: ABA [American Bar Association] steps up to the bar", John F Sherman, Lawyers for Better Business, 14 Feb 2012

For further reports & articles, see the Resource Centre’s general section on law firms.

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Related stories and components

Article
21 October 2013

Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on Business and Human Rights

Author: Shane Darcy, Business & Human Rights in Ireland

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade...[was] asked...if a national implementation plan for the...Guiding Principles for business and human rights is currently being prepared...and if there will be an opportunity for interested parties to participate...

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Article
7 August 2013

Top City firms aim to develop human rights principles to guide work [UK]

Author: Sam Chadderton, Legal Futures (UK)

Some of the country’s biggest law firms are moving closer to establishing stand-alone human rights policies, it has emerged. Whereas many firms claim to have embedded UN guiding principles on business and human rights into their corporate and social...

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Article
14 January 2013

Magic circle firms draw up first human rights policies

Author: Rebecca Lowe, Intl. Bar Association

Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are in the process of formulating human rights strategies to comply with the Guiding Principles for Businesses and Human Rights...Other firms, including Herbert Smith Freehills and Allen ...

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Article
21 December 2012

[PDF] The UN Guiding Principles: Practical Implications for Business Lawyers

Author: John F. Sherman, In-House Defense Quarterly [USA]

Lawyers who advise companies must become familiar with the UN Guiding Principles to help their corporate clients achieve their business goals without adversely infringing on human rights…the corporate responsibility to respect human rights establishes...

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Article
1 December 2012

[PDF] Developing Corporate Human Rights Policies and the Role of Legal Counsel

Author: Cheryl Joseph, Stanford Law School, and Julia Cherlow, Stanford Law School for UN Global Compact Human Rights Working Group

This Good Practice Note aims: (1) to illustrate how transnational corporations’ (TNCs) inhouse corporate counsel are perfectly situated to propel their corporations to adopt practices that ensure respect for human rights; and (2) to encourage this...

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Article
1 October 2012

[PDF] The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: the implications for enterprises and their lawyers

Author: Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in International Investment Law atthe London School of Economics, in Business and Human Rights Review

Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha...examines the detail of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and considers why businesses should comply with the Guiding Principles, what the challenges of compliance are, and what role lawyers have in their...

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Article
1 April 2012

Professional Responsibility of Lawyers under the Guiding Principles

Author: John Sherman, General Counsel, Shift

The core responsibility of business under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is to respect human rights...So how should lawyers advise their corporate clients regarding this responsibility?...[The] American Bar Association...[has...

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Article
1 April 2012

SAVE THE DATE: June 6, 2012 from 12:00-1:30 EDST for a live webinar on this subject [Professional Responsibility of Lawyers under the Guiding Principles] [scroll to end of page]

Author: John Sherman, General Counsel, Shift Project

To explore these issues..., the ABA Center for Human Rights and AIDS Coordination Project, Northeastern University School of Law’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute will be sponsoring a...

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Article
14 February 2012

UN Guiding Principles: ABA steps up to the bar [USA]

Author: John F Sherman, Lawyers for Better Business

[T]he American Bar Association's [ABA] House of Delegates (the ABA's policy-making body) passed a resolution endorsing the United Nations Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework on Business and Human Rights, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and...

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Article
1 January 2012

[PDF] Final report: Intl. civil litigation for human rights violations

Author: Intl. Civil Litigation and the Interest of the Public, Intl. Law Association

The draft resolution proposed by the Committee for adoption by the full house of the International Law Association is aimed at proposing Guidelines or best practices to address the private international law issues which often face national courts when...

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