Outstanding Examples of Work by Corporate Lawyers


Winner: Airbnb

Originality: 8 Leadership: 8 Impact: 8 — Total 24
When Airbnb.org, the nonprofit arm of the home-sharing platform, pledged to host 100,000 Ukrainian refugees abroad, Airbnb’s legal team helped facilitate the initiative. The attorneys designed legal protections for hosts and guests and used their network of law firms to connect with nongovernmental organizations that could provide verification. The legal team realized they couldn’t grow fast enough if they relied solely on NGOs and so implemented faster processes, such as self-verification. Some 48,000 Airbnb hosts offered temporary accommodations, helping the company achieve its goal.

stand out

O: 7 L: 8 I: 8 — Total 23
The British telecommunications company is offering free internet connections to 1 million people in 2022. Vodafone’s legal team led the initiative, working with charities seeking to end digital exclusion. Lawyers crafted bespoke contractual agreements so connections could be made as quickly as possible, and the company had made 500,000 by July. Lawyers also helped provide 200,000 free SIM cards to Ukrainian refugees.

O: 6 L: 8 I: 8 — Total 22
The lawyers of NatWest, the British banking group, have made its legal documents more accessible. The terms and conditions are now shorter and easier to read, as well as gender-neutral and easier to navigate for dyslexic readers. The lawyers also worked with the Chancery Lane Project, a collaborative legal initiative, on introducing requirements into its agreements with suppliers regarding energy use – the first UK bank to do so.

Laing O’Rourke
O: 6 L: 9 I: 6 — Total 21
Keen to tackle both the construction industry’s damaging impact on the environment and the lack of diversity among its employees, the UK-based construction and engineering group’s legal team led the introduction of a sustainable development policy, which was approved by the board of directors. This policy includes targets to achieve operational net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and full net zero by 2050. The company is also targeting a 50/50 gender balance among global staff by 2033.


Colt Technology Services
O: 6 L: 7 I: 6 — Total 19
The legal department assisted the company in its strategy to reduce its carbon emissions, in particular by working on the procurement process to make three quarters of transport electric by 2030. The lawyers set up a team of environmental, social and governmental criteria to help create a Q&A and a “sustainability bot”, to inform customers about Colt’s ESG strategy.

O: 6 L: 7 I: 6 — Total 19
The legal team facilitated projects to help the beverage company improve its corporate social responsibility efforts. These include promoting Diageo’s ESG credentials in ways that avoid accusations of greenwashing and creating sustainable packaging.

European Investment Fund
O: 6 L: 7 I: 6 — Total 19
Lawyers from the UN agency helped Médecins du Monde, a French non-governmental organization, design a pioneering product for social impact investors. Its payment is linked to the achievement of objectives, for example if the NGO has reduced reconviction rates of offenders through its work in the communities.

Coca-Cola HBC
O: 6 L: 6 I: 6 — Total 18
Several sustainability initiatives were managed by the legal team. These include obtaining EU approval for a new type of recycled packaging, introducing contractual clauses requiring suppliers to have external sustainability assessments and negotiating contracts for a funding postgraduate research on recycling.


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