CCBE publishes guidelines for European lawyers on CSR

Source: CCBE, 9 September 2003

CCBE, representing the lawyers of Europe, encourages the practitioners of the legal profession to increasingly take on an advisory role on CSR issues.
The guidelines, which have been compiled by a working-group of experts from Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Italy and Sweden, focus on the role of lawyers in CSR activity. They explain what CSR is, and highlight the reasons why lawyers should be involved in advising companies in this field. The CCBE maintains that advising on CSR issues should become an everyday matter for corporate lawyers, since lawyers have ready access to EU boardrooms and have legal privilege.
Among the lists of tasks which the guidelines outline as suitable for lawyers are to:
– undertake CSR assessments as part of due diligence;
– assess the legal implications of CSR reporting and advertising;
– provide assurance statements on CSR reporting in relation to scope, relevance and compliance with
international standards;
– analyse strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT-analysis) of a given company in
relation to CSR;
– design CSR policies;
– design a strategy for the company to address CSR adequately;
– integrate CSR into existing risk management and compliance programmes.

Helge Kolrud, CCBE President, said today: Corporate Social Responsibility is widely accepted today as a vital
part of corporate life. The CCBE intends to play a leading role in the promotion of Corporate Social
Responsibility in ensuring that lawyers understand its importance when advising clients. We believe that the
guidelines are a good starting point towards achieving this.

Download the guideline (pdf)