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10 October 20223 minute read

DLA Piper appoints new Head of Strategic Delivery - Sustainability & ESG

DLA Piper has appointed senior lawyer Kelly Sporn to the newly created position of Special Counsel and Head of Strategic Delivery - Sustainability & ESG, who joined yesterday.

In the new role Kelly will support the delivery of DLA Piper’s International Sustainability & ESG strategy by providing senior guidance on strategic sustainability opportunities. She will support the International Head of Sustainability and ESG, Natasha Luther-Jones, to drive change, open new opportunities and accelerate growth for both our clients and our people. She will also work closely with Jean-Pierre (JP) Douglas-Henry, Managing Director Sustainability & Resilience who sits on the firm’s Executive Committee, reflecting the importance DLA Piper attaches to Sustainability & ESG.

She will be supported in her role by the firm’s wider Sustainability & ESG team. This includes partners Rhys Davies and Alex Tamlyn as International Leads for the function, a broad range of international partners who drive the firm’s sector and pillar approach to ESG, as well as the newly bolstered central ESG marketing team.

Kelly joins from Allen & Overy where she was Counsel specialising in sustainability and ESG regulation, policy and strategy across a wide variety of geographies and sectors. Prior to her return to private practice, she was the sustainability and climate risk lead in the group regulatory policy team of Barclays. She represented the bank in the 2019 inaugural session of the FCA-PRA Climate Financial Risk Forum in the Innovation Working Group.

She is a postgraduate student at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership. Her research interests include UK nature-positive transition policy, ESG ratings, extrinsic drivers for corporate sustainability strategy and approaches to sustainability risk in the legal sector. 

Kelly’s appointment follows last year’s internal appointment of partner JP Douglas-Henry to the International Executive of DLA Piper as Managing Director, Sustainability & Resilience, following his two years as Co-Head of Sustainability & ESG with Natasha Luther-Jones, who now leads the function. The creation of these roles follows the formation of the firm’s Sustainability & ESG steering committee in 2020. This committee coordinates DLA Piper’s internal and client ESG offerings, including the pro bono practice, which saw the firm appointed by the UK Government as legal services provider for COP26.

Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, commenting on the appointment, said: “Kelly’s appointment is a further illustration of DLA Piper’s complete commitment to becoming the forerunner for innovation and ESG related client services in the legal sector, as well as becoming itself a role-model for resilient and sustainable businesses. Her experience is clear to see and will be an invaluable addition to the team, helping to drive the firm forward in this critical area and to encourage everyone at the firm to work collectively to achieve our environmental and sustainability targets.”