Business for Social Good
Jenny is an Associate at Mishcon de Reya in the commercial litigation team, and she also works closely with Mishcon Purpose, the firm’s ESG wing. She has spearheaded the Greener Litigation Project since it began, and partly as a result of her passion for sustainability in the legal profession she was invited to attend the One Young World Summit in Manchester, 2022.
Jenny found the Summit deeply inspiring, and noted that the Delegates shared clear common aims while nonetheless approaching issues in markedly different ways. The range, both of approach and scale, of the One Young World Community re-emphasised for her the role of community building in tackling sustainability challenges.
The Greener Litigation Project brings together industry-leading law firms, barristers’ chambers and other legal professionals to actively commit to reducing the environmental impact of a traditionally paper-based industry, focusing on the practice of litigation. The initiative was founded at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic after Jenny and her team recognised that lockdown measures had had an unintended positive effect on sustainable practices in the legal industry. At the heart of the Project is the Greener Litigation Pledge, which provides a way of embedding these effects into the practices of the legal sector. It is a commitment to adopt a set of practical changes that will make the day-to-day practice of litigation more sustainable by reducing its carbon footprint.
The Pledge has seen an explosion of interest since it was first launched, with over 100 organisations signing up, including some of the UK’s biggest law firms. In 2022, Greener Litigation also launched the Associate Member Pledge for corporates, brands and other organisations who participate in litigation but are not litigation businesses, and who are committed to achieving Net Zero, with Vodafone as the founding member.
Mishcon de Reya, through Jenny and her colleague Olivia Wybraniec, is the Secretariat of the Greener Litigation Steering Committee. Through her work with the Greener Litigation Project, Jenny has managed to bring a framework for sustainability to the forefront of legal industry’s litigation practices.
The Pledge itself is standardised for all signatories and includes steps to reduce the environmental impact of litigation disputes, such as emphasising the reduced carbon footprint of electronic communication compared to paper. The framework also aims to reduce the travel footprint of litigation cases by using technology to discourage the current industry standard practice of flying individuals to the UK to give evidence. Whilst the Pledge is an entry-level commitment designed to facilitate gradual changes in legal practice, Jenny and her colleagues are keen to expand the Greener Litigation Project further by advocating that the legal system itself adopt procedural changes to further its commitment to sustainability.
“The Summit was an eye-opener to other sectors and the role that law can play in driving positive change. But it is one piece of the puzzle and there are lots of other pieces. It was really insightful to see some of the very practical ways that other Ambassadors are addressing the same challenge.”