Impact and Knowledge Exchange
The Research Group engages in several consultation processes. In 2020, we have submitted our joint responses to public consultations such as:
- EU public consultation on the revision to non-financial reporting directive. You can read our response here: EU survey NFR
- FCA CP20/3: Proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and clarification of existing disclosure obligations. You can read our response here: CP20/3
- EU public consultation on the renewal of the sustainable finance strategy. You can find a copy of our submissions here (EC consultation 2) and here (EC Consultation 1, together with some additional comments: additional comments consultation).
Dr. Solana has recently commented on the discussion paper “The 2021 biennial exploratory scenario on the financial risks from climate change” by Bank of England.
Prof. Sergakis has provided written evidence in relation to the Italian Authority Covip regarding the draft Regulation transposing the Shareholder Rights Directive for pension funds. Consultation COVIP 2020
Finance and Social Justice Project
The Finance and Social Justice Project (the “FSJ Project”) is an extracurricular activity that gives LLM students the opportunity to work on current, real-world problems at the intersection of finance and social justice. A team of ten LLM students has worked under the supervision of Dr. Javier Solana in 2018/2019 and in 2019/2020.
You can find further information on the project here.
ESG reporting project
Non-financial reporting has risen in significance in recent years as the role of stakeholders who are not shareholders has been recognised in corporate governance frameworks. In the UK the ‘strategic reporting’ provisions of the Companies Act 2006 give effect to this policy. For this reason, Prof. Esser, MacNeil and Dr. Chalaczkiewicz-Ladna have engaged in a project on ESG reporting, which has led to the elaboration of a paper.
In Part 1 they have examined the strategic reports of the FTSE 100 companies from 2015 and 2016 and focused on compliance by companies with non-financial reporting requirements. They found that compliance with those requirements was very high, amounting even to super or over-compliance. In Part 2 of the project they have assessed the quality of non-financial reporting through a series of interviews. The paper evaluates whether the current regulatory framework on non-financial reporting in the UK informs stakeholders adequately so as to facilitate effective engagement in corporate decision-making.
Part 1 outputs:
Irene-Marie Esser, Iain Macneil, Katarzyna Chalaczkiewicz-Ladna, 'Engaging Stakeholders in Corporate Decision-Making through Strategic Reporting: An Empirical Study of FTSE 100 Companies' (2018) 29 European Business Law Review, Issue 5, pp. 729–772
Part 2 outputs:
Workshop on sustainable finance
On 29 March 2019, Professor Irene-Marie Esser and Dr Javier Solana organised an inter-disciplinary workshop on sustainable finance. The event attracted academic researchers from Economics and Law from various UK universities, as well as representatives of the financial industry and civil society organisations.
The workshop used the final report prepared by the High-Level Expert Group for the European Commission, which was published at the end of January 2018, and the Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, which was published on 8 March 2018, as the reference points in their discussions of topics such as the introduction of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into investment mandates, climate-related disclosures, and the possible tension between systemic risk and climate change.
The group identified three broad lines of enquiry: 1) the possibility of direct intervention in the operations of investment firms rather than the indirect route of intervention on the investment chain; 2) the need to develop a taxonomy of “green” (and possibly also “brown”) financial products to inform climate-related disclosures and the challenges associated with that exercise; and 3) the need to rethink the normative priorities of financial regulators and supervisors if the policy objective of promoting sustainable finance is also going to encompass a stable financial system.
The workshop marked the beginning of a series of conversations that will continue to take place within the School of Law and with attendees to the workshop on the possibility of designing collaborative research projects that will address these and related questions. Those interested in the exploration of sustainable finance are encouraged to contact Professor Irene-Marie Esser or Dr Javier Solana for further information about the work that the School of Law does in this area.