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Why do we care and why should you care?

In addition to the traditional (corporate and/or securities-based) ratings commonly obtained by an issuer in connection with an international debt offering, corporates may now avail themselves of a new metric – the ESG rating. To date, there is no consensus on how ESG ratings, which assess a company’s ESG performance, are derived or what they reflect.

As more corporate bonds are issued linked to ESG ratings, these ratings will become more material, and a consensus around how ESG ratings should be disclosed and regulated will directly impact their reliability. In this article, Baker McKenzie lawyers – Rob Mathews, Ben Bierwirth and Elaine Baynham – consider some of the challenges posed by ESG ratings in the context of debt securities offerings.DOWNLOAD PUBLICATION

*This article was first published in the International Financial Law Review.


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)


Benjamin is a New York qualified senior associate in the Firm’s Corporate Finance group in London. Prior to joining the Firm in 2019, he worked in a leading US law firm in London. Benjamin has experience advising banks, private clients and borrowers on a wide range of corporate finance transactions, including high yield debt offerings, liability management transactions, syndicated credit facilities and restructuring transactions. Benjamin has also worked on secondment at a leading global investment bank its leveraged finance legal team.

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