As ESG issues take a front seat in business decision-making across Asia, law firms play a crucial role advising companies on how to navigate increasingly complex compliance requirements and mitigating emerging risks. As regulatory landscapes around ESG evolve rapidly, ALB recognises Allen & Gledhill, one of the 15 law firms that are delivering outstanding legal counsel in this area.  


What specific initiatives or strategies has Allen & Gledhill LLP implemented to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into its legal practice?

As Southeast Asia’s first law firm signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we launched our Sustainability Roadmap following a rigorous audit, which underlined our commitment to align our strategies, culture, and day-to-day operations with the UNGC’s Ten Principles. The audit helped identify and inform our ESG & Sustainability Pledge with specific goals, timelines, and yearly reviews.

How does Allen & Gledhill LLP collaborate with clients to navigate regulatory complexities and develop ESG-focused legal frameworks and policies?

We frequently work with our clients to develop thought leadership. A recent example is our work with GenZero on a joint paper regarding the legal character of carbon credits. We were also the first law firm globally to sign a MoU aimed at enhancing sustainability-related legal and risk management competencies in Asia and beyond with Global Reporting Initiative. We regularly speak about ESG topics on legal panels, such as the role of in-house legal teams in accelerating net-zero, and the changing regulatory landscape for ESG in ASEAN. Recognising the intricate nature of ESG issues, we also work with and advise clients on developing sector-specific ESG frameworks tailored to their business needs.

Can you share any notable success stories or case studies where Allen & Gledhill LLP’s expertise in ESG matters has made a significant impact on clients or the broader community?

Closing the finance gap is especially pressing in Asia as the region accounts for around half of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Some of our most impactful ESG work are in sustainable finance across Southeast Asia. We advised the Monetary Authority of Singapore on the issuance of S$2.8 billion sovereign green bonds; the National Environment Agency on the issuance of S$1.3 billion notes due 2051, the region’s longest tenor unrated public green bond at the time; and GLP Investment Management Pte. Ltd. in the establishment of a closed-end fund focused on developing eco-friendly logistics facilities in Vietnam.

Another area of impact is our work in navigating the regulatory aspects of ESG matters. In advising DBS Bank Ltd. in establishing Climate Impact X, we considered the regulatory analysis around the proper characterisation of a carbon credit. We also frequently advise clients on sustainability-focused transactions and assist them in reviewing public disclosures, including novel areas around greenwashing risks.


Elsa Chen
Partner (Chief Economist), Co-Head of ESG & Public Policy Practice and Regional Co-Head of Competition & Foreign Investment Review Practice



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