The Sustainable Law Podcast

If you work in the legal sector and you have an interest in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises then this podcast is for you. How do these challenges affect law firms and what can lawyers to take positive action on climate change for their firms and their clients?

Episode 3 – The Burning Question – Should Law Firms Act for Fossil Fuels?

by The Sustainable Law Podcast

Episode 3 – The Burning Question – Should Law Firms Act for Fossil Fuels?

Leading UK and international law firms continue to earn millions from fossil fuel related transactions. Meanwhile law students are calling for action– will the student spotlight cause firms to think again or is it hopelessly naive to think anything will change? Do firms care?

Episode 3 of the Sustainable Law Podcast explores the tricky issue of law firms who work with the fossil fuel industry and how that is affecting student recruitment and retention. We spoke to Sophia Adams Bhatti, Head of Purpose and Impact at global law firm Simmons & Simmons and Haley Czarnek, National Director of Law Students for Climate Accountability.

More about our guests:

Sophia Adams Bhatti
Head of Purpose and Impact, Simmons & Simmons

Sophia is a public policy and strategy expert with 20 years’ experience working across a number of sectors including the law, financial services, competition, consumer affairs, health care and immigration and asylum. She is currently the Global Head of Purpose and Impact where she leads the firm’s international purpose programme. Working with colleagues in all of the firm’s international offices, Sophia’s mission is to help Simmons to achieve the goal of becoming purpose-led and future-focused, and to use its influence and expertise to drive positive impact on people and planet through the firm’s work.
Prior to this role Sophia was Head of Strategy and Policy at Simmons Wavelength, the firm’s legal technology and data science acquisition, where she led on the intersection of law, policy and technology. Focusing heavily on ESG delivery for clients, she worked directly with the C suite in developing ESG strategy alignment.

Previously, Sophia was the Director of Policy and Regulation at the Law Society of England and Wales where she led on, amongst other things, all domestic law reform programmes, Access to Justice, and the future of legal services. In 2019 she led the ground-breaking Commission on the use of AI in the justice sector. She is a recognised author and regularly speaks on issues related to the rule of law, technology and AI, regulation, sustainability and policy. She is an independent adviser to Lawtech UK, AIFC Legal Tech advisory group, and the Corporation of London Legal Tech Sounding Board, and of a number of advisory groups on related issues.

Haley Czarnek
National Director, Law Students for Climate Accountability

Haley Czarnek (she/they) served on LSCA’s first National Leadership Committee as a 3L at the University of Alabama, and graduated in May 2022. Haley has since begun developing their role as LSCA’s first National Director, and is excited to support the committee and student organizers as they build a movement to change the culture of the legal profession. Outside of LSCA, Haley enjoys gardening, hanging out with their dog, Tig, talking about comedy, and spending as much time with southern organizers as possible.