Pinsent Masons acquires sustainable finance consultancy to bolster climate and sustainability offering

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has expanded its Climate & Sustainability capability through the acquisition of international sustainable finance specialists, Morgan Green Advisory.

Led by founder and director, Hayden Morgan, Morgan Green Advisory (MGA) provides specialist consultancy services that enables businesses, particularly those in the financial services sector, to reach their sustainability goals by accessing market opportunities, adding value and mitigating risk.

MGA advise leading financial institutions, asset and fund managers, development finance institutions, consultancies and private fund managers on all aspects of their sustainability strategies. This includes devising sustainable finance frameworks, ensuring businesses are aligned with global standards, providing advice on risk frameworks and measuring impact. Existing clients include private equity firms, infrastructure fund managers, development finance institutions, multilateral development banks, and multinational NGOs.

Michael Watson, head of Climate & Sustainability at Pinsent Masons said: “New financial sustainability regulations, standards and changing stakeholder expectations are driving significant demand for complex sustainability advice and support. From the very beginning, it was clear what opportunities were available by partnering with MGA and their specialist sustainable finance expertise. Clients can benefit from resources and knowledge to set climate and sustainability targets that go beyond what they are legally required to do. The model has been so successful that cementing the relationship was a natural next step – complementing our vision of being a professional services business with law at its core.”

Pinsent Masons’ Climate & Sustainability team was launched in 2020 and provides a holistic approach to advising clients on their decarbonisation and broader sustainability and ESG activities spanning supply chains, reporting requirements, tax, intellectual property and risk management. The acquisition of MGA further bolsters the firm’s commitment to Climate & Sustainability. In 2021, the firm hired ex-Ofgem and Green Investment Bank heavyweight Euan McVicar as a senior climate advisor.

Hayden, who joins the firm as a partner, has played a leading role in transforming sustainability agendas across the world, including being instrumental in the creation the Green Investment Principles whilst at the UK Green Investment Bank. He is also global convener of the International ISO Standard for Sustainable Finance and leads experts in over 25 countries in development of that standard for financial organisations. Hayden will lead Pinsent Masons’ new Sustainable Finance Consultancy which will form part of its Climate & Sustainability business.

Hayden Morgan said: “The global transition to lower carbon, more sustainable business models presents a multitude of risks and opportunities for organisations across all economic sectors. Increasing development of sustainability standards and growth in regulation and reporting means that this market will continue to expand on an accelerated basis. It is vital that businesses develop their sustainability strategies and implementation plans to ensure they are aligned with regulatory requirements and stakeholder expectations whilst accessing new business opportunities. This includes driving competitive advantage, building business resilience, or accessing new revenue streams. Joining Pinsent Masons enables us to develop interdisciplinary products and services, broaden out our market and global reach, as well as allowing clients to benefit from a truly multidisciplinary team of advisors.”

MGA and Pinsent Masons have a history of working collaboratively – pooling expertise to provide a full-service offering to clients and their sustainability needs. This includes for global investment company abrdn.

Karen Hill, head of sustainable investment, concession infrastructure, at abrdn said: “There is an obvious logic to this integration given the complex and evolving regulatory requirements associated with sustainable investing as well as often, a lack of clarity in the regulations as to what ‘sustainable’ means. A joined-up approach from appropriate experts on both regulatory and sustainability requirements will likely prove attractive to firms looking to develop sustainable products.”