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LA Marine joins Campaign for Greener Arbitration

By Karolina Lasinska
20 July 2021
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LA Marine, the specialist marine law team at Lester Aldridge, has signed the Green Pledge to support the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations, committing its shipping and logistics team to reduce its environmental impact.

The campaign was founded in 2019 by the international arbitrator, Lucy Greenwood, with the aim of reducing the carbon impact of the arbitration community and promoting best practices in managing arbitrations in a sustainable way.

While the shipping and logistics industry still has a massive environmental impact and footprint – it has been estimated that in 2014, the shipping industry was responsible for 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year (similar to the emissions of Germany) – transport and shipping companies all around the world are on their mission to reduce their greenhouse emissions and environmental impact.

In 2021, while no immense progress has been made to decrease the carbon emissions to the 2014 levels or below (mainly due to the sheer size of the industry), it can be safely noted that there is an incredible opportunity to enhance the environmental performance of the ports and shipping industry by looking at every link in the chain – including their legal advisers.

At LA Marine, it is recognised that global warming is a real threat to all and any initiative, be it driven by governments, environmental groups or environmentally conscious individuals, as well as LA Marine's clients themselves, are a welcome and needed contribution.

By signing the Green Pledge, LA Marine has committed, among others, to make efforts to reduce energy consumption and waste in arbitral practice by:

  • making use of technology, such as facilitation of virtual meetings and hearings in order to reduce or avoid unnecessary travel
  • corresponding electronically instead of by post
  • printing documents only in necessary circumstances and submitting electronic bundles instead of printed ones and,
  • where possible, use suppliers and service providers who are committed to reducing their environmental footprint

LA Marine's shipping and logistics partner, Linda Jacques (pictured), comments: "The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to virtual hearings in both arbitrations and court proceedings as well as mediations. While some hearings will inevitably return to 'in person', we will be encouraging all parties not to go back to the business as usual and consider the environmental impact. We are pleased to commit to the Green Pledge.

"In recent months, we have attended a purely remote mediation as well as settlement negotiations and virtual hearings; these are not only more environmentally considerate but also client-friendly. Clients, as well as our lawyers, do not need to travel (by air, train or car) and book accommodation to attend their hearings or meetings, but can now attend from the comfort of their home or workplace instead, which does not only reduce carbon footprint but also removes the additional stress of travelling."

Signing the Green Pledge is an additional step for LA Marine, which, as part of Lester Aldridge, is a member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA), a 'movement' of law firms working together to take action on climate change by reducing their carbon footprint and adopting environmentally sustainable practices.

The LSA, supported by the Law Society, was launched in December 2008 and relaunched in 2020 to assist its members to make their transition to Net-Zero.

About Lester Aldridge

Lester Aldridge can trace its origins back to 1796 and has grown to be the largest law firm in Dorset, with a national reputation in many areas of law. As well as its Bournemouth head office, it also has offices in Southampton and London.