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Navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly – growing and evolving financial markets for environmental, social and governance (‘ESG’) – related bonds and loans can be a daunting undertaking. In this issue of In the Know, Baker McKenzie lawyers share their experiences and insights.

FACT: ESG finance requires immediate attention – All market participants urgently need to develop or continue to develop ESG expertise, including, importantly, for ESG-related debt finance activities. Not only are there altruistic reasons to undertake these initiatives, but stakeholders, activists and governmental authorities, among many others, are demanding action.

FACT: ESG finance is here to stay – Urgent environmental, social and governance drivers across all industries and jurisdictions will fuel ESG-related growth into the foreseeable future and beyond, and finance initiatives provide a direct link to fund this growth.

FACT: ESG finance is still in its early days – Protocols are voluminous and confusing, ESG-related products continue to evolve, benefits are (currently) primarily non-economic, and risks remain uncertain.

So what do you need to know? In this issue we set out our top ten tips for ESG debt financings.

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Author

Adam Farlow heads the Firm's Capital Markets practice in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is a New York and English qualified partner based in London. He has extensive experience in US securities laws and transaction management. He has been elected as a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and serves on the Council of the American Bar Association Section of International Law.

Author

Rob Mathews is a partner in the Firm's Capital Markets Group. Rob's clients benefit from his significant experience in multinational corporate and finance transactions, notably high-yield debt offerings. Clients comment that "Rob is a high yield guru – you know you can rely on his technical advice and market knowledge." (Chambers UK, 2019) and that he is "client-focused, solution-oriented and commercial; he has many years of experience as is able to advise on any issue.” (Legal 500, 2019)

Author

Caitlin McErlane advises asset managers, banks, major corporates, exchanges, clearing houses and payment institutions on navigating UK and EU financial services regulation. She has particular experience in advising clients on operating in compliance with ongoing regulatory developments, including MiFID II, EMIR, the Investment Firms Regulation, ESG reforms, AIFMD and the Market Abuse Regulation.

Author

Megan Schellinger is a New York qualified partner in Baker McKenzie’s Corporate Finance group in London. Prior to joining the Firm in March 2018, she worked at a multinational law firm based in London. Megan has extensive experience in US securities laws and transaction management.

Author

Samantha Greer is a New York-qualified senior associate in Baker McKenzie's corporate finance practice group in London. Prior to joining the Firm, she worked in the finance team at a leading US law firm in London and in the legal team at a leading multinational bank in London where she supported its investor and treasury services and capital markets business platforms. Sam has experience working on a wide range of cross-border corporate finance transactions, including Regulation S and Rule 144A high-yield debt offerings, liability management transactions and syndicated credit facilities.

Author

Maxim Khrapov is an associate in Baker McKenzie London office.