Charles Russell Speechlys

Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) is an international law firm based in the UK and has committed to a 2030 net zero target. Since attending the first hackathon in November 2019, CRS has been an enthusiastic advocate and supporter of The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP) and its climate clauses

What do The Chancery Lane Project’s clauses deliver for Charles Russell Speechlys?

CRS has included adaptations of TCLP’s clauses in existing and long-term supplier service agreements. The central theme has been negotiating and setting reduction targets that suit suppliers’ understanding of climate and net zero issues whilst also benefiting the firm. For example: 

Drawing on the environmental threshold obligations in Teddy’s clause, CRS required that a major IT supplier carried out an assessment of their carbon footprint within a year of the agreement, appointed a responsible person to report on the assessment and developed a plan for the continuous reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with interim targets approved by its board of directors. 

Drawing on the green supplier agreement terms in Zoë and Bea’s clause, CRS required a catering supplier company to adopt carbon footprint standards, set a net zero target by the end of the first contract year and begin annual reporting on progress supported by independent verification. 

How did The Chancery Lane Project help Charles Russell Speechlys get here?

A number of CRS lawyers attended TCLP’s first hackathon in November 2019. Since then, TCLP’s clauses have become a valuable resource at CRS and are available for lawyers to use in its clause toolkits. Following the release of further TCLP resources, the firm has facilitated internal presentations on TCLP’s clauses and how to use them, as well as providing additional drafting notes to support lawyers’ knowledge of climate-conscious drafting and the implementation of clauses. 

What are the key takeaways? 

  • When negotiating supplier contracts, understanding their awareness and tailoring to their abilities to perform is essential whilst still setting challenging targets depending upon where the supplier is on the pathway to helping combat climate change. 
  • TCLP’s clauses provide credible and reliable precedents for use in real-world contracts and are a useful source of inspiration. They allow for flexibility and can be adapted to what is best for the organisation and its suppliers’ climate ambitions and net zero commitments. 
  • Use of the TCLP toolkit is an excellent place for firms to either commence or continue their TCLP journeys, which, through increasing firm-wide awareness, open up new opportunities to use clauses in client work.