Pinsent Masons today acquired sustainable finance consultancy Morgan Green Advisory (MGA) as the London law firm seeks to capitalise on surging demand for ESG advice.
The law firm’s acquisition for an undisclosed sum will see MGA’s 25 expert consultants join Pinsent Masons’ 2,500-strong international team.
The London firm’s decision to snap up MGA comes as the City’s top professional services firms are piling in to the market for ESG advice, as major corporates face mounting pressure to meet sustainability goals.
The Big Four accounting firms – EY, PwC, KPMG, and Deloitte – have all rushed to cash in on the ESG surge by bolstering their sustainability advice offerings.
Michael Watson, head of climate and sustainability at Pinsent Masons said: “New financial sustainability regulations, standards and changing stakeholder expectations are driving significant demand for complex sustainability advice and support.”
The ESG boom comes as the UK’s top listed companies scramble to align their businesses with the British government’s push to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
As set out by former Chancellor Rishi Sunak at COP 26, listed companies and private firms with more than 500 staff and over £500m in turnover will from this year be expected to outline detailed plans to reach net zero by the middle of this century.
Publicly listed companies are also facing mounting pressure from their own investors to push for more ambitious targets and boost their ESG metrics.
MGA founder Hayden Morgan, who will join Pinsent Masons as a partner, said: “Increasing development of sustainability standards and growth in regulation and reporting means that this market will continue to expand on an accelerated basis.”
“It is vital that businesses develop their sustainability strategies and implementation plans to ensure they are aligned with regulatory requirements and stakeholder expectations whilst accessing new business opportunities,” Morgan said.
The deal comes as another blurring of the lines between law firms and consultancies, in a shift that has seen the Big Four accounting firms build up large scale legal practices in recent years.
Karen Hill, head of sustainable investment at Abrdn said: “There is an obvious logic to this integration given the complex and evolving regulatory requirements associated with sustainable investing as well as often, a lack of clarity in the regulations as to what ‘sustainable’ means.”
“A joined-up approach from appropriate experts on both regulatory and sustainability requirements will likely prove attractive to firms looking to develop sustainable products.”