Kent Law School’s Environmental Law Seminar Series continued this month with a talk by alumnus Rufus Howard on ‘Environmental Due Diligence’.
Rufus completed his Environmental Law and Policy LLM at Kent in 2004 and is now a leading environment and sustainability professional drawing on 13 years of experience in academia, government and business.
The talk began by focusing on when and how due diligence, the idea of ‘taking care and providing a thorough investigation into a business,’ would be used and carried out, particularly in relation to mergers and acquisitions and project investment financing. The focus was then turned to the different actors involved in carrying out due diligence, for example environmental specialists looking into potential environmental liabilities and the difficulties that can arise from doing this, such as the need for predictive decisions according to international standards and the nature and scope of the problem in question.
Rufus then discussed the global standards that underpin these issues such as the ethics and morals that a business should uphold according to a good environmental standard, not only for their reputation, but also to be able to get financing according to International Finance Corporation performance standards. Rufus discussed these standards in detail and analysed some of the relevant issues such as the idea of them being from a ‘Western perspective’ and what would happen if standards are not adhered to for this reason.
Rufus concluded the talk by giving real life case studies and examples of due diligence work that has been carried out by consultancies and aspects which are focused on when this is done eg ensuring an understanding of what exactly is being acquired and issues of land contamination.
Report by Kent LLM student Amy Marsella. (Organised with colleagues Parinyaporn Papao and Sanparat Tangsajatu.)
The Environmental Law Seminar Series has been designed specifically for students with an interest in the environmental law modules offered within the School’s one-year Master’s in Law programme, the Kent LLM.
Kent LLM students can graduate on either the Environmental Law or International Environmental Law pathway by (i) opting to study at least three (out of six) modules from those associated with the pathway of their choice and by (ii) focusing the topic of their dissertation on their chosen pathway.
More information about environmental law research, events and academics at Kent can be found on the Environmental Law mini-site. More information about studying the Kent LLM (and choosing your pathway) can be found on our postgraduate pages.