Human rights & responsible business

Managing risks across business supply chains

There is increasing global recognition of the responsibility of businesses to respect human rights and appropriately manage these risks across their supply chains.

Our team of human rights, ESG, climate change, corporate governance and litigation experts work together across the intersection of these practice areas to assist on high profile responsible business issues.

We have practical experience applying the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, international human rights treaties, the UN Global Compact, UNPRI, UNPRB, and other global standards. 

We already advise many clients on existing modern slavery due diligence, risk management and reporting requirements and are actively monitoring the current New Zealand policy proposals for modern slavery and worker exploitation due diligence and reporting.

Our team brings experience advising clients on:

  • governance of human rights issues including arising from global supply chains
  • development of human rights policies, business and supplier codes of conduct and internal training
  • human rights due diligence, risk identification and assessment
  • crisis response
  • remediation of adverse human rights impacts caused by business
  • modern slavery risk identification, assessment and management
  • preparation of Modern Slavery Statements under UK and Australian modern slavery legislation
  • review of contract terms to incorporate ESG, modern slavery and human rights-related clauses
  • litigation risk in relation to ESG and human rights concerns.
  • Advising on business and human rights matters for clients in New Zealand, Australia and internationally, including:
    • corporate responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
    • modern slavery risk management and due diligence for multiple clients, including under the UK and Australian modern slavery legislation
    • relevance for business of the major international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Labour Organisation conventions, the European Convention on Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights
    • disclosure and reporting of business and human rights risks.
  • Acting for multiple New Zealand companies in an industry targeted by claims of human rights abuses in off-shore supply chains to establish and implement a review of potential risk areas.
  • Advising clients in the financial, energy and agricultural sectors on ESG risk, responsible investment policies, Human Rights policies, Codes of Conduct, and business ethics.
  • Briefings for boards of directors on ESG best practice and risk management.
  • Advising on international sanctions.
  • Acting in litigation involving responsible business issues involving a large pension fund.
  • Advising a foreign state government on public international law and business and human rights issues.