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Human Rights and Environmental Disputes

The importance of ‘righting a wrong’, and finding innovative ways of doing so, lies at the cornerstone of Hausfeld’s ethos. It is why we are a claimant-focused law firm. This also means that we can take on cases where many other firms have conflicts. Hausfeld’s aim is to obtain effective results for those who have suffered – whether they are a business, organisation, group or individual and whether at the international, national or local levels.

One strand of Hausfeld’s work focuses on losses suffered mainly by businesses as a result of unlawful anti-competitive behaviour and commercial disputes. The other deals with rectifying wrongdoing in the public law, human rights and environmental domains. The team has experience in a broad range of areas, including:

  • drafting documents for submission to UN treaty bodies and organisations
  • bringing claims against multinational companies whose commercial operations, whether in the UK or abroad, have caused harm to individuals – including group claims
  • making judicial review applications, including on media law and state aid
  • bringing environmental claims, including climate justice strategic litigation and air pollution
  • bringing discrimination claims
  • providing advice on litigation and legal campaign strategies to front line civil society organisations on all of the above.

In addition, we take on leadership roles to:

  • improve access to the courts
  • host the London Climate Change Litigation Forums so that experts can exchange ideas on innovation in the law regarding climate change
  • stimulate debate around remedies for victims of human rights through speaking at key conferences across the globe
  • strengthen UK/EU access to justice mechanisms
  • create awareness with those who might bring about transformative change through UN and other specialised agencies.

"Lawyers from Hausfeld, Free Periods and the Red Box Project teamed up and in January 2019 launched a legal campaign to eliminate period poverty. In April 2019, the Government confirmed funding for free sanitary products for all English schools from early 2020."

- Shortlisted for 'Excellence in access to Justice' by The Law Society Excellence Awards 2019

Why Hausfeld?

We act strategically to settle disputes quickly and fairly, drawing upon the extensive expertise within our firm and our partners, both locally and across the globe. We are willing to share risk and/or work on pro-bono basis. Our innovative use of alternative fee arrangements and strong relationships with litigation funders allows claimants without deep pockets access to justice.

A few examples of the mix of work and of our successes include:  

  • Drafting a Communication to a UN treaty body committee
  • The legal campaign to end #PeriodPoverty, where we teamed up with Crowd Justice, Free Periods and the Red Box Project 
  • Acting in two high profile judicial reviews on behalf of Avaaz - the first related to resisting the Murdoch family’s bid for BSKYB news (which was one of the drivers leading to the Leveson Inquiry) and the second related to the Murdoch family’s bid for Sky and the question of whether Sky would remain ‘fit and proper’ to hold a broadcasting licence if 100% owned by 21st Century Fox
  • Working with partners from Essex and Strathclyde Universities, we drafted a comprehensive Guide for WWF UK for their 5 year plan regarding Climate Change and Children: litigation and campaign options
  • Obtaining settlement for 500 former workers in India following mercury contamination
  • Our legal project against air pollution 
  • Providing comprehensive advice to Pacific Small Island States on climate litigation/arbitration options
  • Assisting communities affected by hydropower dam builds in Northern Iraq and Brazil
  • Assisting Masai villages affected by tourism operators on their land in Tanzania
  • Advising on threats to customary owned land by palm oil operators in Liberia
  • Advising communities poisoned by lead smelting works in Kazakhstan
  • Advising local communities in South America and South Africa in their disputes with mine operators.

Please contact Ingrid Gubbay or Wessen Jazrawi to discuss a prospective case or make an enquiry at igubbay@hausfeld.com and wjazrawi@hausfeld.com.

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