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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Simmons appoints first global ESG head

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has announced the appointment of its first global head of ESG, Sonali Siriwardena. Sonali will join Simmons on 20 April and be based in the firm’s London office

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Sonali joins the firm from Morgan Stanley where she has spent more than a decade, in both legal and business roles. Most recently Sonali was head of sustainability regulation and policy for Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM). In that role, Sonali was accountable for MSIM’s Sustainable Investing Policy for its fund ranges and was responsible for the response to global ESG-related policy consultations, including the implementation of ESG regulation.

Sonali will be working with the firm’s clients and further bringing together Simmons’ global ESG strategy across all its four key sectors. Working across all practice areas and offices, Sonali will be responsible for the continued development of the firm’s essential ESG reflex, effectively enabling all teams to service clients on their ESG instructions as well as having the understanding to consider it in every matter that the firm advises clients on.

On Sonali joining the firm, senior partner Julian Taylor commented: “This is the latest significant strategic move that Simmons has made in 2022. Following our announcement of the firm’s first US office, the creation of a global head of ESG role is a clear demonstration of our commitment to furnishing clients with next generation ESG advice.”

Julian continued: “Sonali will be responsible for weaving together the areas of ESG expertise where Simmons has a market leading reputation and further developing our peoples’ ESG reflex.”

On her new role at Simmons, Sonali commented: “The opportunity to spearhead the external ESG strategy for Simmons is compelling as ESG is no longer a tick box exercise and should be the cornerstone of company operations across all industries and sectors. My business and legal background has given me a clear view of how sustainability regulation and policy impact company strategy and stock valuations. I will leverage this experience to enable Simmons build on its existing ESG expertise to carve out a position at the forefront of legal advisers, delivering market leading ESG advice to clients across all matters.”

Sonali’s appointment is complimented by the recent appointment of the firm’s Head of Purpose and Impact, Sophia Adams Bhatti who will be spearheading the firm’s drive to deliver purposeful impact through its work and commitments.

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