Accountancy-tied firm Tite & Lewis has launched a corporate social responsibility offering targeted at FTSE 250 companies with international operations
Tite & Lewis is believed to be the first UK law firm to offer anything of this kind. The practice will be led by senior partner Christopher Tite, alongside Patrick Rodier and six senior assistants. The team will provide policy and legal risk management advice to corporates on a range of social, human rights and environmental issues. Tite & Lewis will cooperate closely with accountancy partner Ernst & Young (E&Y), which will offer a service based on financial reporting.
"New rules on bribery have also increased the pressure on multinationals to put their houses in order"
Andrew Silberberg, a senior associate spearheading the Tite & Lewis drive, called it "a well-balanced multidisciplinary partnership team". He revealed that the service already has two major UK plcs as clients, although he refused to name them because of the sensitive nature of the advice. Corporate social responsibility issues hit the headlines in the UK last year when minority shareholders at BP tried to force the company to change its environmental policies. Tougher reporting regulations have also seen the policies of public companies exposed to the scrutiny of institutional investors, who can refuse to hold shares in companies with poor environmental and human rights records. New rules on bribery from the UK and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have also increased the pressure on multinationals to put their houses in order. The market is dominated by public affairs consultants such as Hill and Norton. Silberberg claims that Tite & Lewis can compete because its offering is differentiated by its legal foundation.