Legal Areas


ADVANT Beiten is awarded as "Leading Firm" in the field of Environmental Law.

(The Legal 500 Germany 2024)

We advise on all legal aspects of sustainability and work closely with you to develop tailored solutions that appropriately reflect the growing importance of ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance).

For many years, our experts have worked intensively on the legal aspects of ESG and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). In 2015, we published the first comprehensive work on “CSR and the Law”. Our experience has confirmed that ESG is multi-faceted, with both economic and legal perspectives. That is why our ESG Working Group brings together experts from all relevant areas of law, who pool their knowledge and cooperate to develop multi-disciplinary solutions for complex ESG issues.

Clients value our practical advice on national and international issues. We take an active role in identifying the risks and opportunities associated with ESG and help you align your corporate strategy and operative business to suit.

Our specialists maintain a strong network of sustainability experts from companies, chambers of commerce, and consulting firms. These contacts allow us to advise you on current ESG trends and issues when you are implementing ESG measures, in addition to specific legal questions. We also work closely with the lawyers of our ADVANT Alliance and our international network of partners to advise you on cross-border matters and the ESG legal framework.

Due diligence in the supply chain

Human rights and environmental due diligence obligations are a focus of our ESG services. We advise on the Act on Due Diligence in the Supply Chain (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, LkSG), which entered into force on 1 January 2023 and will apply to various companies from 1 January 2024, as well as on the proposed EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Clients include companies directly affected by the Act, as well as their suppliers. In 2022, we once again proved our expertise in this area, publishing the first comprehensive commentary on the Act.

Sustainable corporate governance and contractual compliance with the Act are further focuses of our work (see below).

Sustainable corporate governance

An effective risk management system will include human rights and the environment in keeping with the Act on Due Diligence in the Supply Chain. We help you implement such a system and advise you on all broader sustainable corporate governance issues. Our considerable expertise spans from the due diligence obligations of directors, ESG-specific rules and the ESG standards derived from these rules, to linking director pay to sustainability goals, the ESG recommendations in the German Corporate Governance Codex, and the personal liability of directors. We frequently advise on developing and implementing individually tailored concepts, codes of conduct, and internal ESG training programmes.

Compliance and corporate defence

The overlap between due diligence obligations in the supply chain and sustainable corporate governance on the one hand, and classical risk management and compliance on the other is unmistakable. We help you develop and implement integrated compliance management systems, including ESG aspects. If you suspect ESG provisions have been infringed, we’ll help you carry out internal investigations to clarify the facts. Where public prosecutors are investigating management or employee conduct, we safeguard corporate interests, coordinate the defence of individuals, and defend the company in any fining proceedings.

You can find more information in our legal area Corporate Criminal Law & Compliance.


Our legal expertise helps ensure your contracts with suppliers and customers accurately implement the legal provisions of the Act on Due Diligence in the Supply Chain and corporate ESG concepts. We draft ESG clauses in agreements, design and review suppliers’ codes of conduct, develop risk management systems for the supply chain, and provide training to suppliers on ESG issues.

You can find more information in our legal area Contract & Commercial Law.

Sustainability reporting

The practical and legal challenges of non-financial reporting (which will become known as sustainability reporting) will significantly increase. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which entered into force at the start of 2023, significantly extends both the number of companies required to report and the information that must be provided. The EU Taxonomy for Ecologically Sustainable Activities also impacts reporting obligations. Our ESG experts help you navigate existing and future obligations and rely on the expertise of the accountants and auditors of BBWP GmbH as needed.

Sustainable finance

We advise investors and companies on sustainable finance. From structuring and negotiating to drafting and reviewing contractual documents for ESG-based finance and ESG-based investments (including regulatory requirements): we’re at your side. Financial market participants and financial advisors seek us out for our expertise in sustainability-related disclosure requirements (e.g., under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, or SFDR for short) and the EU Taxonomy for Environmentally Sustainable Investments. We defend institutions, companies, and institutional investors against claims under capital market law and for compensation for deficient investment advice or ESG infringements (“greenwashing”), and help them pursue their own claims.

You can find more information in our legal area Financial Services and Insurance Law.

Mergers & Aquisitions

Sustainability affects not just company management but corporate acquisitions, too.  ESG frequently impacts company value. ESG aspects can even be the primary motivation behind an acquisition, sale, or merger.

We provide you with support throughout M&A transactions, conducting a thorough review of the legal aspects of ESG for you. Our interdisciplinary teams assess compliance with sustainability laws and the individual obligations of companies, from labour law to corporate governance and compliance, from energy to environmental law, and from due diligence in the supply chain to sustainability reporting. In addition, we ensure the agreed transaction documents appropriately secure value-generating ESG factors (e.g., sale and purchase agreement and shareholder agreement).

You can find more information in our legal area Corporate/M&A.

Real Estate

The real estate sector will need to become environmentally and socially sustainable if it is to remain successful over the next few decades. In Germany, this sector has continuously failed to meet climate targets and has much work to do. Advice on sustainable renovation work as an alternative to demolition and new constructions is vital. This includes advice on new and increasingly complex rules on implementing and monitoring sustainable business models, especially the EU Taxonomy. In addition, demonstrating sustainability can be both costly and time-consuming and is likely to become as important as classical accounting in the future.

You can find more information in our sector Real Estate.

Antitrust law

Companies are often expected to be sustainable businesses while providing consumers with sustainable solutions. Cooperating – whether with competitors, suppliers, or sales partners - and sharing expenses is frequently more effective due to the costs involved in achieving such goals and developing such products (especially to high sustainability standards). However, there is no cookie-cutter approach: all partners must ensure their agreements comply with antitrust law.

While national and EU competition authorities can view partnerships with sustainability objectives favourably, such arrangements are still agreements between competitors and can infringe antitrust law. We support and advise you when structuring such partnerships to ensure compliance and assist you with communications with antitrust authorities.

You can find more information in our legal area Antitrust Law.

Competition law

Consumers increasingly consider environmental issues when deciding whether to purchase a product. Companies have reacted and now commonly use environmental claims in advertisements. However, as competitors and interest groups closely monitor such ads, all claims must comply with the relevant laws.

Advertisements may not (consciously or unconsciously) sugar coat the environmental impact or properties of products or services or portray them in a misleading manner. Greenwashing contravenes the Act against Unfair Competition (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, UWG) and can result in warnings, injunctions, administrative bans, and fines.

Our ESG experts help you ensure your advertisements comply with the relevant laws. Should any third parties claim your ad infringes their rights, we will defend you against such claims and support and represent you when challenging the greenwashing campaigns of competitors.

Environmental protection, climate action and the change in energy policy

Environmental protection and climate action are key elements of both sustainability and the “environment” element of ESG. The economy must decarbonise if we are going to limit global warming and meet the Paris Accord targets and reduction targets under national climate protection laws. Our energy law team can advise you on all legal issues related to the turnaround in energy policy, particularly in the field of renewable energies.

In Germany the EU, environmental laws are normally designed to protect the environment and natural resources. We advise you on all the environmental law issues affecting your company. The Act on Due Diligence in the Supply Chain addresses select aspects of environmental protection, in addition to human rights. This inclusion enhances the impact of the international treaties referenced in the Act on companies falling under its scope, as well as their contractual partners. We cover these environmental aspects as part of our comprehensive advice.

You can find more information in our legal area Energy Law.

Labour law

National laws on individual employment, co-determination rights within works and companies, labour, and occupational safety form the core of the “social” element of the three-pronged ESG. Naturally, our labour law experts can advise you on all traditional employment law issues.

The Act on Due Diligence in the Supply Chain and its reference to international labour rules, especially those of the International Labour Organization (ILO), are decisive. The legal requirements of this Act and the contractual requirements of business partners subject to it have expanded the application of traditional labour law so that it now applies to the supply chain, including to suppliers located or active abroad. The local law applicable where the supplier is located or active is also relevant. With our international ADVANT Alliance and international partner network, we provide comprehensive advice on international labour law issues, too.

In addition, we advise on the implementation of complaints procedures as required under the Act and, in the case of large companies, the Whistleblower Protection Act (Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz).

You can find more information in our legal area Labour Law.

ESG Litigation

The number and variety of legal disputes involving sustainability are increasing. We provide comprehensive advice on all forms of ESG litigation such as on liability for human rights law violations in the supply chain (human rights litigation), the consequences of climate change (climate change litigation), incorrect sustainability reporting, insufficient investment advice, and misleading advertising claims, as well as director liability for breaches of duty with respect to ESG issues. In addition, we represent you before authorities in criminal proceedings and in relation to administrative offences.

Negative reporting can quickly damage your reputation. We advise you on conflict prevention, such as when interacting with stakeholders, and on adopting appropriate measures to shut down infringements, end business relations, and settle any claims.