ESG, Compliance & Investigations

Our ESG, Compliance & Investigations team advises across a wide range of practice areas. Our expertise is described in detail below and includes:

  • A broad range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters
  • GDPR and data protection
  • Financial regulation
  • Healthcare regulation
  • Competition law
  • Consumer law and trading standards
  • Disciplinary, grievances and whistleblowing

What makes Temple Bright stand out in these fields is the breadth and depth of our experience. Our team includes lawyers who have worked for regulators, as senior in-house counsel, as prosecutors and as independent investigators. This allows us to approach compliance matters from an array of different perspectives. We can understand both clients’ and regulators’ point of view, because we have been both.

The key elements of any compliance programme are prevention, investigation and remediation. Our experience, and in particular our experience of investigations, has taught us the value in proactively investing in prevention, through embedding the right policies and procedures, training staff and establishing the right culture. We have designed and implemented compliance programmes in an in-house capacity, so we understand the need for a programme that is tailored to your business while also being commercial and practical to embed.

Of course, things can and do go wrong. If they do, we can also help you lead investigations, manage and/or engage regulators and if necessary robustly defend against prosecution or regulatory action. Our all-round experience allows us to be effective whether acting proactively or reactively.

Our practice includes advice in the following areas:

ESG

We advise clients holistically on all aspects of environmental, social and governance law. ESG is increasingly becoming front and centre for institutions, both because more and more aspects of it are becoming compulsory and because stakeholders (including shareholders, employees and customers) increasingly expect it.

We can help firms with many aspects of ESG implementation and compliance, including: designing a compliance roadmap; developing and building out an ESG programme; undertaking a gap analysis to identify areas for remediation; advice on mandatory ESG disclosures and reporting under UK law; advice on board governance and obligations, including directors’ duties; reviewing and improving firmwide governance frameworks (identifying risks and opportunities, designing policies); policy drafting; designing processes (e.g. reporting, escalation, supply chain due diligence etc); design of contractual clauses to ensure third party compliance and manage risk; investigating alleged policy breaches; minimising greenwashing risks; advice on external communications.

We can offer tailored ESG training for boards and management teams, horizon scanning, and an ESG updates service.

Our specialist in these areas is Tom Hine.

We also advise on a number of distinct legal areas within the broader ESG category:

Directors’ duties

We advise on the duties and responsibilities that directors of companies registered in England and Wales owe to their companies. That advice includes guiding directors through their obligations under the Companies Act 2006 so that the decisions that they take on behalf of their company are consistent with those obligations and can insulate them from potential criticism or sanction by shareholders and other third parties. We can act on behalf of directors facing allegations of breach of duties in the civil courts and we have a network of specialist lawyers who are able to advise in relation to any threat of criminal sanction arising out of any breach of duty or law by which directors are bound.

Our specialists in this area is Tom Hine.

Health & safety, inquests, environment, food, fire and security

Our practice in these areas includes:

  • Interpreting applicable regulatory legislation (including health & safety, environment, food, fire, security and planning)
  • Advising and defending organisations in their dealings with regulatory bodies such as the HSE, the Environment Agency, Environmental Health, the Food Standards Agency and fire authorities
  • Inquest representation
  • Risk management for directors, senior officers and owners in regulated areas and corporate manslaughter
  • Contractor control and risk management
  • Environment and health & safety accident/incident investigation
  • Regulatory risk and liability management systems such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 / ISO 45001
  • Mediation of disputes
  • Legal aspects of security liability and cyber crime

We bring a wide range of experience and skills to the process of organisational risk management. We also provide training seminars on senior management liability.

Our specialists in these areas are Richard Voke and Noel Wardle.

Anti bribery and corruption and fraud

We can perform risk assessments and advise on all aspects of an organisation’s procedures to prevent bribery and fraud, including employee training programmes, gifts and hospitality policies, whistleblowing programmes, contractual language, due diligence on potential agents or partners, “tone from the top” and internal audits. We can also help you with internal investigations, engagement with regulators and enforcement authorities and remediation programmes.

Our specialists in these areas are Rachael Bewsey, Tom Hine and Richard Voke.

Modern slavery

We can assist with interpretation of the Modern Slavery Act and the publication of your annual modern slavery statement.

Our specialists in this areas are Tom Hine and Paul Manson.

GDPR and data protection

We can provide advice on all aspects of data protection compliance, including in respect of the GDPR, current guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office and regulations governing e-marketing. Our services include data audit and risk assessment advice, data “health checks” (for example ensuring that you have the right policies and procedures in place as a controller or processor of data), updates to your standard terms and conditions, customer contracts and website notices, advice on intra-group transfers of personal data (including outside the UK/EEA) and providing staff training on an ongoing or ad hoc basis. We also advise on data subject access requests and on all aspects of data breaches.

Our specialists in these areas are Jan Bingham, Chris Crane, Jonathan Heskia, Jeremy Morton and Andrew Tibber.

Financial regulation

We advise on a broad range of financial services compliance matters, including: interpretation of relevant law, regulation and guidance and its organisational implementation; policy production; policy frameworks generally; conduct, integrity and market abuse issues; related investigations, enforcement actions and litigation.

Our expertise in financial services regulatory matters is also further described here.

Our specialists in these areas are Tom Hine and Jasmina Yang.

Healthcare regulation

We provide regulatory advice and representation to a wide range of healthcare businesses and healthcare professionals including:

  • Acting for healthcare professionals who are facing fitness to practise investigations and proceedings by their professional regulator, such as the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and General Medical Council (GMC)
  • Advising healthcare businesses on the complex regulations relating to the provision of, and remuneration for, NHS primary care services, including representing clients facing enforcement action by NHS England in respect of alleged terms of service breaches
  • Acting for pharmacists and pharmacy owners in relation to market entry (pharmacy contract) applications, including conducting advocacy at Primary Care Appeal hearings
  • Assisting clients with investigations and proceedings brought by a wide range of regulators, including the UK medicines regulator (the MHRA), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Representing primary care providers, including pharmacists, who are facing allegations of NHS fraud

Our specialist in these areas is Noel Wardle.

Noel has written A Guide to General Pharmaceutical Council Investigations and Fitness to Practise Proceedings.

He has also written A Guide to English NHS Pharmacy Market Entry Applications.

Competition law

Our expertise in this area is described here.

Our specialist in this area is James Falle.

Consumer law and trading standards

We can advise and represent you at all stages of investigations by local authorities and other regulatory bodies, and in respect of complaints or challenges from consumers and advocacy groups.

Our specialists in these areas are Gina Lodge, Paul Manson and Richard Voke.

Disciplinary, grievances and whistleblowing

We advise on conducting effective investigations, including in respect of disciplinaries, grievances and whistleblowing complaints, while ensuring that there is minimal disruption to clients’ day-to-day business. We can also assist in drafting whistleblowing policies and in putting in place robust and pragmatic processes for businesses to follow when conducting internal investigations.

With our extensive experience of Employment Tribunal litigation, we on able to guide employers on the process and scope that will be expected by Employment Judges. For particularly complex, sensitive and confidential matters we can assist with providing an impartial external investigation and an objective report with recommendations and guidance for decision makers.

Our expertise in these areas and Employment law generally is also further described here.

Our specialists in these areas are Tom Farman and Chloe Ricciardi.

Tom Hine undertakes investigations, including whistleblowing complaints, and also contributes additional expertise for clients subject to financial services regulation.

You can initiate a discussion about instructing us by contacting any partner directly, or by using the main office contact details at the bottom of the page if you prefer.