Coffin Mew is proud to be driving environmental change

Posted on: December 13th, 2021

We are aiming to modernise the court process and drive environmental change.

As part of the global ESG drive (Environmental, Social and Governance) and a key component of COP26, the firm is making a pledge to encourage all lawyers involved in contentious legal claims to review their environmental impact.

Specifically, Coffin Mew is asking all parties, including witnesses in the claim, to cut down on two of the most significant often needless activities, travel and excess paper usage.

We are looking to cut travel to courts by 20% and, where possible, use video conference instead.  We also aims to decrease production and of paper –  including physical copies of bundles for courts – and correspondence by 25%. It will also inform third parties of its ESG commitment and encourage them to also decrease the use of physical copies and unnecessary travel, where possible.

In addition, we have signed up to Greener Litigation, a legal initiative to reduce the environmental impact of dispute resolution.

Ian Dawes, partner and head of dispute resolution, Coffin Mew, said: “Lawyers have been forced to make changes to the way they have practiced in the last 18 months and those changes need to continue –  we have to continue behaving and developing as though we are in the 21st century and not the 19th century.

As a firm, we have made a commitment to change and have numerous ESG policies in place. We are also keen to encourage wider adoption within the industry, which is why we are asking all lawyers working on behalf of their clients in contentious claims to join us in implementing new working methods.

Video conferencing, for example, has proved to be very successful as a way of communicating within our business and with our clients, and we are actively encouraging it to be adopted more broadly. There is no need to send paper copies of documents and letters in 80 percent of cases where they are currently being sent.

I believe that the lessons learnt from the past 18 months and if we persist with modern practices, will not only reduce carbon emissions but also promote modern and greener litigation.”