Who we are

How did Greener Litigation develop?

In 2020, the Civil Justice Council’s Rapid Consultation on the impact of COVID-19 measures on the civil justice system prompted Mishcon de Reya to propose that climate change should be put at the centre of a review of how litigation is undertaken in the English courts. The CJC Consultation Report identified the “impact of remote hearings on carbon emissions” as one of just seven urgent priorities for evaluation.

Inspired by the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations and its founder Lucy Greenwood and pursuant to its Climate Change Strategy, Mishcon de Reya convened a group of like-minded leading litigation practices to develop the Greener Litigation Pledge: a mission statement setting out practical changes we as litigators pledge to commit to in the journey towards net zero.

What do we want to achieve?

On 27 June 2019, the UK became the first country to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050, with the target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. It is our objective that the courts and court users of England and Wales play an important role in achieving that commitment, and encourage lasting change in litigation practice both within the UK and around the world.

Our primary goal is to change the way in which dispute resolution practitioners conduct litigation, so as to reduce the carbon footprint of court disputes in line with the objective of restricting global warming to 1.5°C as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. We are also mindful of the risk of harm to health of court users and others arising from air pollution in and around our courts.

We aim to achieve our goal by:

  1. Developing and publishing guidelines for court users to adopt when conducting litigation;
  2. Analysing how technology can assist in the journey to Net Zero;
  3. Engaging with the courts to embed meaningful change into the rules of litigation practice; and
  4. Expanding the reach of Greener Litigation within the UK and internationally.

What have we done so far?

Key achievements to date include:

  1. Securing over 75 institutional signatories to the Greener Litigation Pledge;
  2. “Highly Commended” for the Sustainability Initiative award at The Lawyer Awards 2022;
  3. Promoting the work of Greener Litigation at events including London International Disputes Week 2022, LawScot COP 26 Conference and the Law Society’s Commercial litigation annual conference 2022; and
  4. Launching the Associates Member Pledge, in recognition that non-litigation businesses have a significant role to play in supporting Greener Litigation’s work.

The Steering Committee

The current members of the Steering Committee are

Mishcon de Reya
Founding Chair and Secretariat
Alexander Rhodes
Jenny Hindley, Court Engagement relationship manager
Olivia Wybraniec, Associate Member and International Outreach lead

Addleshaw Goddard
Sivan Daniels, Court Engagement working group co-lead

Tom Cusworth, Court Engagement working group co-lead

Rachel Duffy

Gatehouse Chambers
Amanda Illing

Herbert Smith Freehills
Jan O’Neill

Nicola Gare, Technology working group co-lead

Ann Dingemans, Associate Member co-lead

Opus 2
Carlos Carvalho, Technology working group co-lead

Outer Temple Chambers
Joshua Cainer

Simmons and Simmons
Basil Woodd-Walker
Udo Pickartz

Steve Couling

Vodafone UK
Duncan Martin

Luiza Balan

Working Groups

Greener Litigation is now working to implement the objectives of the Pledge through cross-profession working groups. We currently have three working groups:

  • Court Engagement working group: understanding where the current rules and court guides might require court users to emit carbon and engaging with the courts to consider how such instances could be reduced.
  • Litigation Technology working group: considering the possible benefits technology can offer in relation to adopting sustainable litigation practices.
  • Outreach working group: seeking to expand the reach of Greener Litigation within the UK and by working with lawyers in other jurisdictions to establish complementary schemes.