Throughout 2021, the Real Estate Group of UK law firm TLT has used The Chancery Lane Project’s (TCLP) climate-aligned clauses to change its precedents.
What do TCLP clauses deliver for TLT?
TLT put the following clauses into its real estate precedent banks:
- Marni’s Clause, containing ‘report on title’ climate change clauses. The clause was split to fit into TLT’s existing report on title.
- Aatmay’s Clause, requiring landlords and tenants to consider principles of circular economy when making repairs or alterations. The clause was incorporated into a precedent by way of annotation for TLT’s real estate lawyers to raise it in commercial lease negotiations.
- Rosie’s Clause, requiring landlords to act reasonably when tenants propose alterations that have a positive climate impact. The clause was inserted in its entirety in a guidance note for TLT’s real estate lawyers. This mode of incorporation was necessary given that Rosie’s Clause is likely to be proposed by tenants as an amendment to the landlord’s first draft of a lease.
This is the first phase of TLT’s project rolling out TCLP clauses across the firm.
How did TCLP help TLT get here?
TLT has formed an internal working group of professional support lawyers and other fee earners to achieve a firm-wide adoption of TCLP clauses in precedents. The working group took TCLP model clauses as published and promoted them across the entire firm and to all practice areas. It also serves as a forum to analyse TCLP clauses, train lawyers on climate-conscious drafting and discuss strategy for the rollout into precedents.
What changes have the TCLP clauses made?
TCLP real estate clauses are now raised with clients at various stages of commercial lease negotiations. In order to respect the client’s budget for a particular transaction, TLT has prioritised TCLP clauses that encourage collaboration and discussion about climate change risks and involve no or little monetary expenditure. Clients are typically open to having these conversations and considering their impact.
What are the key takeaways?
- TCLP clauses can be adopted into precedents in a variety of ways.
- Forming an internal working group can help achieve firm-wide awareness and action.
- Starting with TCLP clauses that involve little or no extra expenditure may help fit the amendments into the client’s budget for a particular transaction.
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