Law Firm of the Year: MinterEllison

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: MinterEllison

MinterEllison says it works to support, promote and mainstream impact investing wherever intentionality to create positive impact is at the core of a project, initiative or investment.

Over the past year, the law firm has provided a range of advisory expertise on impact-driven transactions that seek to generate market-rate returns, to socially-themed instruments seeking concessionary returns. It has also contributed to projects that aim to improve impact measurement and reporting.

The firm has collaborated with industry experts, NGOs and government bodies in an effort to boost social housing and reduce homelessness, including working with The Constellation Project, the Business Alliance to End Homelessness and Housing All Australians – cross-sector collaborations that seek to develop policy and unlock public and private capital to end homelessness in Australia. This builds on the law firm's existing programmes with Community Legal Centres across the country, providing advice to people at risk of homelessness.

MinterEllison acts as the pro bono legal adviser, building capacity and support for the 'for-purpose' and social enterprise sector, working with many ecosystem players including Social Traders, Social Ventures Australia, Westpac Foundation, First Australians Capital, Many Rivers, Social Impact Hub and the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia, incorporating Impact Investing Australia, as well as philanthropists.

In August, the firm launched its Responsible Business Practice that aims to consolidate its approach to social impact and ESG advisory. The practice is made up of a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers, consultants and auditors who work closely with industry and seeks to embed impact across its 'for profit' commercial law practice areas, consolidating expertise across climate change, human rights (including modern slavery and supply chain issues), governance and conduct (including culture and accountability assessments) and sustainable finance and impact investing.

MinterEllison also contributed to the  Climate Measurement Standards Initiative, within which experts in both physical climate change science and disaster modelling are working with Australian financial institutions to provide common standards for industry disclosure and reporting of climate-related financial risks in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

"This award recognises MinterEllison's strength of purpose in our communities around the world, from London to Perth to Sydney. We take great pride in our Community Investment Programs with over 75% of our people involved, as well as our Responsible Business practice advising our for-purpose and for-profit clients on practices for equitable, ethical and sustainable outcomes that make for healthier and better communities," a spokeswoman for MinterEllison says.