DLA Piper has been appointed by the UK Government as the provider of legal services for the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.

The firm will provide general commercial support to COP26 including sponsorship agreements.

The United Nations' COP26 event is a worldwide meeting on climate change and how nations intend to address it.

Edinburgh-based partner Dr Sharon Fitzgerald will lead the project alongside colleagues Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, international co-head of sustainability and ESG and global co-chair of litigation and regulation, partner Sarah Bell and Simon Levine, the global co-CEO managing partner, and the firm's executive.

This achievement represents an additional environmental milestone for the firm and further highlights its commitment to the United Nations Race to Zero Campaign, the firm said. This inlcudes committing to Science Based Targets to reduce its carbon emissions, with validation of the target expected in the coming months.

DLA Piper is also a founding member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance and the recently established Net Zero Lawyers Alliance, and is committed to climate action, promoting sustainability reporting and sharing best practice in the legal sector. The firm was one of the first in the legal sector to receive ISO 14001 certification for environmental management and is a signatory to Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees.

The firm is undergoing a materiality assessment to better understand its most critical sustainability risks and opportunities and has been long recognised as a leading provider of legal pro bono advice. In 2020 alone the firm provided over 200,000 hours of legal advice, the equivalent of almost 150 lawyers working full time.

Mr Douglas-Henry said: "With COP26 starting in less than 100 days, all eyes are now turning to Glasgow and it is an absolute honour to be selected as the Provider of Legal Services to COP26. Our team is excited to be able to support such a monumental event, one that has the ability to make a positive global change to the climate crisis."

Natasha Luther-Jones, DLA Piper's international co-head of sustainability and ESG, said: "We look forward to making a valuable contribution to COP26 and carrying its message beyond the summit itself. Being appointed further emphasises the importance of the approach we are taking as a business on our own sustainability journey and it's wonderful to be able to offer our colleagues the chance to work on matters that will support making COP26 a success."

Mr Levine said: "Our mandate is to embed sustainability into the fabric of the firm and this appointment is yet another example of how we are doing just that. All our lawyers and clients will be impacted by the outcome of COP26 and it's an honour to help our clients transition to a sustainable future, as well as our own business."

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Industry veteran steps down at Glasgow engineering giant

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