Dentons taps global head of ESG in first for behemoth law firm

Signage is seen outside of the law firm Dentons in Washington, D.C.
Signage is seen outside of the law firm Dentons in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Firm brought on Aragon St-Charles from Hogan Lovells
  • St-Charles will work with leadership and board on ESG strategy

(Reuters) - Dentons has hired its first global head of environmental, social and governance (ESG) to do work touching both on the 12,000-attorney law firm's own strategy and its services for clients, the firm said Thursday.

Dentons hired Aragon St-Charles, most recently the head of sustainability at law firm Hogan Lovells, the firm said. Tokyo-based St-Charles also served as Hogan Lovells' operations leader for the Asia Pacific Region.

Several large law firms have appointed high-level leaders for internal ESG or sustainability-related efforts, but such roles don't appear yet to be widespread throughout the legal industry.

Firms have also launched and expanded practice groups advising clients on ESG considerations such as risk assessments, governance, disclosure obligations and corporate social responsibility.

Joe Andrew, global chairman of Dentons, in a statement called ESG investment "a key tenet of our business strategy."

St-Charles will work with Dentons' global board and leadership on ESG strategy, including considerations in areas such as real estate, procurement and travel decisions, Andrew said.

He will also coordinate with the ESG steering committee, which the firm said is tasked with creating ESG products and services for clients.

Another large global firm, DLA Piper, created a new executive-level ESG position in September, appointing a managing director of sustainability and resilience.

Norton Rose Fulbright named its first head of sustainability in Europe, Middle East and Asia the same month, and Baker McKenzie appointed its first chief sustainability officer in October 2020.

Susan Bright, global managing partner for diversity and inclusion and responsible business at Hogan Lovells, said in a statement the firm wishes St-Charles well.

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at