By Paul A. Davies, Tom Evans, Nicola Higgs, Farah O’Brien, David Walker, Michael Green, Hannah Berdal, Anne Mainwaring, and Catherine Campbell

Green shoots emerge as PE firms consider new ways to incorporate ESG into dealmaking.

Market sentiment and the increasing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) to firms’ competitiveness across the market, combined with wide-ranging and rapidly developing ESG regulatory reforms, are driving increased focus on ESG at both LP and GP levels across Europe. As a result, the market is showing demand for enhanced diligence, and a wider range of deal provisions are being considered in light of their potential to enhance the ESG outlook of PE investments.

The UK government continues to prioritise combatting modern slavery risks while also extending reporting deadlines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Clare Nida

On 20 April 2020, the UK government published guidance for companies on how to approach their Modern Slavery Act statements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has stressed that businesses should continue to identify and address risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains; however, businesses can delay publishing their statements by up to six months without penalty, if necessary, because of the pandemic. The government also provided recommended mitigation measures for areas of increased modern slavery risk.