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3 October 202310 minute read

DLA Piper Sustainability Report 2022-23

Delivering on our purpose and mission to help our clients succeed and together make business better
Simon Levine
"We’ve integrated sustainability as a priority focus area where we must take bold action and make faster progress."

Simon Levine
Global Co-CEO

In the report

Net zero

“We aspire to be at the forefront of multi-stakeholder engagement on climate change.”

Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry

Partner and Managing Director, Sustainability and Resilience

What we aim to achieve 

We have science-based targets in place to halve our carbon emissions by 2030 and to achieve net zero by 2040. Both of these targets have been validated by Science Based Targets initiative.  

We’ve developed a clear roadmap and outlined interim KPIs to help us achieve these targets. 

We also have a goal for our UK and European offices to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025, and for all remaining offices to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030. 


Are we on track? 

We’ve reduced our carbon emissions by 41% since 2019-20 across all three scopes.

  • 83% of our waste was diverted away from landfill in 2022-23.
  • 85% of electricity we purchase in the UK is renewable and 63% of electricity we purchase in Europe is renewable.
  • Our emissions from procurement have decreased by 40% since 2019-20.
  • 22% of our Purchased Goods and Services spend in 2022-23 was covered by a science-based target or a commitment to set a science-based target.



What we’ve been working on in the last year
  • We developed country-level carbon budgets for business travel and will be piloting and refining their implementation over the coming year.  
  • We onboarded a new supplier management tool to help us better assess ESG risks in our supply chain and to better engage with our suppliers on ESG issues 
  • We’ve reviewed and restructured our International Energy and Climate Change Committee for greater effectiveness and accountability. This is our internal body charged with driving our progress towards our net zero target. 
  • We’ve continued to assess opportunities for switching to renewable electricity in our offices. 

Our people

“The people I have met at DLA Piper have made me accept that everyone’s journey is different, not better. It isn’t about where you start in life but where you are going that matters.”

Lorraine Reader

Partner, Real Estate

What we aim to achieve 
  • 30% of all partners to be women by 2025 (40% by 2030). 
  • At least half of all internal partner promotions to come from underrepresented groups. 
  • Ensure our Business Services population remains inclusive and representative. 


Are we on track? 
  • We’ve improved our partnership gender diversity year on year, from 23% to 25%, making progress towards our 30% target. 
  • 59% of newly promoted partners in 2023 were from underrepresented groups. 
  • Our Business Services population remains diverse, at 53% of colleagues coming from diverse backgrounds.


What we’ve been working on in the last year
  • We’ve refreshed our approach to DEI training for our senior leadership. 
  • We’ve taken 51 participants through Elevate, our sponsorship programme that matches individuals from underrepresented groups with senior partner sponsors.
  • We launched Momentum, a new pilot programme aimed at preparing talented female lawyers and those from other underrepresented groups for senior leadership. 
  • We launched Horizons, our new people network for colleagues from less-advantaged backgrounds and published our first Social Mobility report in the UK. 

Societal impact

What we aim to achieve 

Our societal investment focuses on two areas: 

  • Increasing access to education and opportunity in the legal profession. 
  • Promoting social justice and capacity building through legal advice. 


Are we on track? 
  • 300+ DLA Piper colleagues volunteered as mentors to young people. 
  • 215,521 pro bono hours contributed in 2022  
  • 48 hours on average were dedicated by our lawyers across the International firm to pro bono work in 2022 
  • 162 students in 5 countries were supported by our Head Start programme. 
  • 50 Fellows across 6 countries were supported by our Global Scholarships Programme. 
  • 1,000+ colleagues engaged in volunteering and fundraising initiatives  
  • GBP181,000 donated by the firm to UNHCR projects, including GBP55,000 to UNHCR emergency appeals 


What we’ve been working on in the last year 
  • We expanded our Head Start programme to Ireland.  
  • We launched the Pro Bono portal, allowing us to manage our pro bono practice more effectively.  
  • We launched the NGO guide – a free tool designed to help NGOs navigate nonprofit laws around the world.  
  • We supported the Ukraine Advice Project, which connects Ukrainians fleeing from war in Ukraine with advice on accessing legal pathways to the UK. 
  • We assisted the country of Georgia at the COP27 climate negotiations. 
  • We hosted a two-day legal training session for 30 local small business owners in Johannesburg. 


See our work in action

Regional highlights

As a global law firm, we have a responsibility to understand and meaningfully engage with sustainability priorities in all our geographies. Our Regional Highlights Report provides an overview of how we’re applying our sustainability objectives across our international offices, helping to showcase sustainability initiatives and efforts that are taking place on the ground. 

The Americas

"An unwavering commitment is crucial to creating a sustainable future for all, and we’re excited by the opportunities to make an even greater impact within and outside our organisation."
Richard Chesley, Co-US Managing Partner

Read more


"ESG is built in as a key part of our business strategy, both in terms of how our business can support our clients to achieve their ESG goals, manage risks and create opportunities, and how we as a firm in Asia meet our own ESG commitments."
Satpal Gobindpuri, Regional Managing Partner 

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Australia and New Zealand

"The impact of climate change in Australia is an urgent priority... Through the work we’ve been doing, we’re seeing our clients take a much longer-term view and commitment to their investment in ESG programmes to achieve their ambitious goals and the level of transformation required."
Amber Matthews, Country Managing Partner

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Middle East and Africa

"As the Middle East (and Africa) continues to advance its stance on ESG, we remain committed to supporting the region with the development of ESG solutions and our clients with their ESG agenda."
Peter Somekh, Regional Managing Partner

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"Our lawyers across Europe have also been working hard to support Ukrainian refugee communities via our many pro bono initiatives. Through an online legal advice portal, we’ve advised more than 4,000 Ukrainians and their families."
Sandra Wallace, Partner and Joint Managing Director for UK and Europe

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UK and Ireland

"In terms of our own operational progress, this year has been an exciting one with the firm’s Net Zero target having been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative, helping to bolster our carbon reduction ambitions and sending a clear message to clients and peers about the firm’s commitment to achieving long term sustainability."
Liam Cowell, Country Managing Partner

Read more

Performance metrics, memberships and awards


Carbon Intelligence has carried out a limited assurance of our greenhouse gas emissions figures against ISO 14064-3 standard, and Corporate Citizenship has provided limited assurance of the non-environmental data sets against the GRI Principles of Accuracy, Clarity, Comparability, Timeliness and Verifiability, using the updated ISAE 3000 standard. 


Membership and awards

As part of our commitment to being a leading sustainable law firm, DLA Piper has been recognised with numerous awards over the years for our thought leadership in the ESG space. We also endorse a variety of international and regional memberships that allow us to remain at the forefront of industry-led sustainability initiatives and campaigns. 


APBCo (The association of pro bono counsel)
Advocates for International Development
Business for Societal Impact (B4SI)
Circle In
Executive Coaching Consultancy
Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers (GAIL)
Global Refugee Forum Legal Community Pledge
Net Zero Lawyers Alliance
Out Leadership
Rare Recruitment
Taskforce on Nature-related
Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Forum
Trust Law


93% Club
Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme
Business Disability Forum (UK)
Carers UK
City Parents
European Pro Bono Initiative
Fundación Pro Bono España
ILPA (Immigration Law
Practitioners Association) (UK)
Law Works (UK)
Legal Diversity and Inclusion Alliance
Legal Renewables Initiative (UK)
Legal Sustainability Alliance (UK)
Living Wage Foundation (UK)
Mansfield Rule (UK)
My Plus Consulting (UK)
Pirical (UK)
Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law
Pro Bono Centrum
Pro Bono Connect
Pro Bono Deutschland
Pro Bono Italia
Race Fairness Commitment (UK)
Race at Work Charter
Social Mobility Business Partnership (UK)
Stonewall (UK)
The Sutton Trust (UK)
The Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono (UK)
The Good Lobby
The Social Mobility Pledge (UK)
Working Families (UK)

Australian Legal Sector Alliance
Australian Network on Disability
Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI)
Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency
City Mental Health Alliance HK
Corporate Mental Health Alliance
Diversity Council Australia
Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Attorneys
Justice Connect
Law Access
Law Right
Lawyers for LGBT+ and Allies Network (LLAN)
Pride in Diversity
The Inclusion Circle

Business Ambition for 1.5C
Campaign for Greener Arbitrations
Greener Litigation Pledge
The UN Global Compact
Legal Charter 1.5
The Legal Renewables Initiative
Living Wage Foundation in the UK
Mindful Business Charter
Sustainable Development Goals
We mean Business Coalition COP27 commitment

ISO 14001(Environmental management) globally
ISO 50001 (Energy management) in the UK
ISO 45001 (Occupational health and safety management) in the UK
Advancing level on the Carbon Trust’s Route to Net Zero standard in the UK

Business for Societal Impact (B4SI)
CDP Climate Change assessment
External assurance of our ESG data
Gender Pay Gap reporting in the UK and Australia
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Integrity Next
Modern Slavery Acts in the UK and Australia
Social Mobility Employer Index in the UK
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
United Nations Global Compact Communication on Progress
World Economic Forum
Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics


DLA Piper was one of only ten international firms ranked in the Legal 500 EMEA Green Guide launched in April 2022
We have also been recognised in the US and LatAM editions

Best ESG Initiative
Financing Wind, 2022

Global Law Firm of the Year
Financing Wind, 2021 and 2022

Environment, Social and Governance Firm/Team of the Year
Partnership Awards, 2022

Level 5: RSGI’s Sustainable Lawyers
“The Green Print Report”, 2022

Innovation in ESG (Private Practice)
The Legal Innovation Awards, 2023

#1 ESG Performance
Impactvise’s Top 25 Law Firms, 2023

ESG Legal Advisor of the Year
IJ Global ESG Awards, 2022

ESG Social Award
IJ Global ESG Awards, 2022

Outstanding Legal Advisor
inspiratia Energy and Sustainability Awards, 2022

#2 Global Law Firm
By value for advising on renewable energy deals, inspiratia, 2022

Global outstanding list for top Ally Executives
In 2022, Senior Partner and Global Co-Chair Jon Hayes and Partner Kaoru Umino were recognised as allies in the Outstanding Top 50 Ally Executives Role Model List

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2022
DLA Piper has been ranked 17th in 2023 in the UK Workplace Equality Index which assesses an organisation’s actions and progress on LGBT+ equality. This year we also secured a Gold Award and ranked 3rd in sector and Iris received a highly commended Network Group Award.

Best CSR Initiative
British Legal Awards, 2022

ESG Programme of the Year
Legal Business Awards, 2022

One Voice Made of Many
In January 2022, One Voice Made of Many was recognised as a leading D&I initiative in PR Week’s Corporate City & Public Affairs Awards The campaign was also recognised in’s Legal Innovation Awards 2022 where it was shortlisted in the PR and communications category. In Spain, the campaign was shortlisted in the Best D&I Initiative category in the VII Expansión Legal Award

IFLR Africa Awards 2022 nominations
Law Firm of the Year

DLA Piper Africa, Rwanda (Equity Juris Chambers)
Law Firm of the Year

DLA Piper Africa, Uganda (S&L Advocates)
Law Firm of the Year

DLA Piper Africa, Zimbabwe (Manokore Attorneys)
Shortlisted for the Sustainability Initiative at The Lawyer Awards

Women in Law Award 2022
Law firm of the year for women in Austria

Shortlisted in the PMN Awards for Diversity & Inclusion campaign (Germany)

The Legal 500 Global Green Guide
Featured Law Firm (EMEA), 2023 and 2022

Europe Offshore Deal of the Year
PFI Awards, 2022*

African Network of the Year
African Legal Awards, 2022

Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Team of the Year
Small to Mid-Practice, African Legal Awards, 2022

International Law Firm of the Year
African Legal Awards, 2021 and 2020

Middle East and Africa Green Deal of the Year
PFI Awards, 2022*

Highly Commended Regional Law firm of the Year (Africa)
Financing Wind, 2022

In 2022, DLA Piper Australia achieved and maintained its citation for 9 years in a row as ‘Employer of Choice for Gender Equality’ with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).
We are a proud Silver Level, Employer of Choice, awarded in 2021 for Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), LGBT+ inclusion in a workplace. 

In 2022, DLA Piper Australia achieved and maintained its citation for 9 years in a row as ‘Employer of Choice for Gender Equality’ with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA)
We are a proud Silver Level, Employer of Choice, awarded in 2021 for Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), LGBT+ inclusion in a workplace.

DLA Piper recognised by China Business Law Journal in the annual China Business Law Awards 2022 in the following 12 categories:

  • Best International Law Firms
  • Asset management
  • Capital markets (Overseas)
  • Dispute resolution (Cross-border)
  • Employment and labour
  • IP (Copyright)
  • M&A (Outbound)
  • Restructuring and insolvency
  • Taxation
  • Construction and infrastructure
  • Industrials and manufacturing
  • Real estate and REIT

The Elevate programme has won the Australian HR Awards in 2022 for Diversity and Inclusion

Gold Award for excellence in Learning and Development
HR Distinction Award 2022

Law Society Pro Bono and Community work Recognition Programme
Hong Kong

Powered by Pro Bono Award received at the 2022 TrustLaw Awards for our partnership with Smart Air

Labour & Employment International Firm of the Year (China)
Law & Practice Awards, 2022

Energy Law Firm of the Year
The Best Lawyers in Australia, 2021

Innovation in Social Justice, Inclusion and Diversity
FT Innovative Lawyers, Asia Pacific, 2022

Innovation in Digital Finance
FT Innovative Lawyers, Asia Pacific, 2022