find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Carbon fuelling legal demand

Carbon fuelling legal demand

Corporations have sought out law firms to understand their legal obligations in relation to carbon emissions and mandatory reporting as the regulations come into effect this year. Martijn…

Corporations have sought out law firms to understand their legal obligations in relation to carbon emissions and mandatory reporting as the regulations come into effect this year.

Martijn Wilder, partner at Baker & McKenzie and head of their global climate change practice, said the newness of the legislation means there are no precedents to follow so companies are coming to the firm to work through the issues.

"I think the big issues which we have been dealing with are things like taking someone's corporate structure and working out what needs to be reported ... if [a company] hires contractors, are they liable for the contractors? Or is the contracting company liable for their own reporting? If they have franchises or joint ventures and other arrangements, who has responsibility for reporting the emissions?" he said.

Wilder said another legal and technical issue related to how to adequately measure emissions, because the legislation required 95 per cent accuracy, which was difficult to achieve.

Louis Chiam, partner at Mallesons and head of sustainable enterprises, agreed that his firm had become actively involved in advising corporations because the legislation was designed as "one size fits all" but if a business had an unusual structure it could make the regulations complex to apply.

Chiam said the provisions that hold CEOs personally liable for breaches of the legislation had "made clients sit up and take notice" and that companies wanted to ensure they would be compliant

"Because of the due diligence defence for the CEO liability, it makes a lot of sense for companies to ensure that their processes are thorough and auditable, because those will be important elements of bringing yourself within the safe harbour in the legislation," he said.

Corporations are required to collect emissions data and report for the end of the financial year on 30 June.

- Sarah Sharples

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Carbon fuelling legal demand
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...