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In brief: Lawyers fear legal heat of ESG

Companies in the energy and finance sectors felt especially vulnerable to ESG-related legal actions, according to a Norton Rose Fulbright survey.

Corporate lawyers are increasingly feeling threatened by ESG issues turning into legal action, according to a survey of 250 in-house litigation practitioners conducted by the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. The data is representative of both publicly listed and private companies, but gives private equity owners a directional sense of what corporates are thinking.

More than one-third of lawyers said they felt more exposed to ESG lawsuits in 2021, up from 21 percent the previous year. The survey found that companies in the energy and finance sectors felt especially vulnerable to sustainability-related legal actions.