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Lexis+ AI
Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Irwin Mitchell appoint environmental expert to lead manufacturing group

Irwin Mitchell appoint environmental expert to lead manufacturing group


The firm's national head of planning will now also lead its manufacturing sector

Irwin Mitchell has appointed respected environment lawyer, Claire Petricca-Riding (pictured), as head of its national manufacturing group.

Petricca-Riding joined Irwin Mitchell’s real estate team in 2019 as a partner and national head of planning. The firm said she will continue in this role, but will also now lead the 20-strong manufacturing group, which includes lawyers from a range of legal disciplines including commercial litigation, M&A, real estate and tax.

Earlier this year, Petricca-Riding was named in the top 100 ‘powerlist’ of influential environment advisers by leading sustainability publication, The ENDS Report. The environmental expert is confident her expertise and understanding of complex environmental issues puts her in a strong position to take the team forward.

She said: “The environment is the golden thread running through the entire manufacturing sector. It incorporates a wide set of challenges and these issues are moving up the corporate agenda and have the potential to reach the very top.

“I’m looking forward to using my legal expertise in this area to add value to our clients – ensuring they’re not only protected but can seize exciting opportunities and generate new business.”

According to Petricca-Riding, there are a number of reasons why the environment has become more influential within the manufacturing sector.

“The drive to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and the current energy crisis is forcing many manufacturers to consider alternative sources of energy and how they can use much less power. Consumers are also demanding change and turning their backs on businesses and brands that don’t operate in a sustainable manner,” she said.

Highlighting the growing impact of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) frameworks in the sector, Petricca-Riding said manufacturers should ensure their strategy sees ESG not simply through the lens of risk management.

“Manufacturers are developing their own ESG framework and environmental issues such as climate change, carbon reduction and recycling are all part of the process.

“There is however more to ESG than simply protection, compliance and risk management. ESG is about everything an organisation does and how it goes about doing it. Developing and implementing sustainable business practices in order to future proof your business and create long-term goodwill with your customers and stakeholders. It offers an opportunity to engage investors and stakeholders through transparent reporting and cohesive business strategy”.

Petricca-Riding said she wanted to help UK manufacturers “grasp the nettle” and “take a proactive approach to tackling the myriad of environmental challenges they face”. She said those that do will be “more robust” and in “far stronger positions” to survive and succeed.

She concluded: “I’m also determined to build on the growth that’s been achieved in recent years. I am also excited to lead a fantastic team who all understand the life cycle of manufacturing businesses and are able to offer tailored legal solutions at the right time - whether that be in relation to succession planning or advice on a real estate transaction.”

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