Ruth Knox is a partner in the Corporate practice and Global Co-Chair of the ESG & Sustainable Finance practice at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s London office. Ms. Knox advises some of the world’s most sophisticated private equity firms, corporations, and project sponsors and lenders on complex and evolving legal issues relating to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and climate-related regulatory requirements, investor demands, strategic opportunities (including transition strategies), and voluntary reporting frameworks and coalitions.
Ms. Knox’s practice focuses on counseling clients on the management, mitigation, and maximization of ESG risks and opportunities, respectively. She has spent more than a decade advising on ESG regulations and soft law standards, including the EU Sustainable Finance package, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) standard. She provides commercial, solutions-oriented advice in sustainable fund formation, large scale international M&A, sustainable finance transactions, and ESG-related corporate crises of an international profile, and she has meaningful experience in climate and nature-based finance. In her career, she has also advised on a wide range of product regulatory regimes across different sectors, and the UK contaminated land regime.
Ms. Knox has advised numerous fund managers on the application of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation including product categorization, investment strategy and operational implementation of bespoke ESG risk, impact, and opportunity management programs deployed through their alternative investment funds. As part of this work, she has helped establish a number of market-leading ESG-driven Article 9 funds. At a prior law firm, Ms. Knox advised on numerous large-scale international corporate M&A transactions across various sectors including oil and gas, petrochemicals, consumer products, and mining. She also advised an international development institution on a market-leading forest bond.
Between 2017 to 2021, Ms. Knox led a major ESG regulatory compliance system review for a European-listed client involving advice on technical ESG regulatory standards, management, and coordination of various technical stakeholders and strategic advice to senior management in respect of various ESG regulatory issues.
Ms. Knox’s representative clients include TPG, Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, TowerBrook Capital Partners, and Macquarie Asset Management.
- Financial News, Fifty Most Influential in Sustainable Finance (2023)
- Chambers UK, “Up and Coming,” UK-wide Environment: Climate Change (2023)
- Chambers UK, “Associate to Watch,” UK-wide Environment (2019-2022)
- The Legal 500 UK, Corporate Governance
- The Legal 500 UK, Environment
- University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE), Climate-Related Financial Risks Programme, 2019
- College of Law Moorgate, (Legal Practising Certificate), 2010
- TPG on its SFDR and EU Taxonomy compliance strategy in respect of the Rise Climate Fund and associated acquisitions
- Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners on its SFDR and Taxonomy compliance strategy of the $2 billion Net Zero Infrastructure Fund
- Towerbrook Capital Partners on its SFDR and Taxonomy compliance strategy of the TowerBrook Delta Fund, TowerBrook Structured Opportunities Fund I, II and III, and Towerbrook Funds IV, V and VI, and associated acquisitions
- Macquarie Asset Management on its SFDR and Taxonomy diligence in respect of the acquisitions made by Macquarie GIG Energy Climate Opportunities fund
- Macquarie Infrastructure Real Assets, Macquarie Asset Management, and Macquarie Investment Management on its SFDR and Taxonomy compliance strategy in respect of Macquarie Green Investment Group Renewable Energy Fund 2 (MGREF2)
- TPG Rise Climate on the investment of $750 million in Intersect Power
- EW Healthcare Partners on the acquisition of a majority stake in Grundium Oy
- CPP Investments and Motive Partners on the $1.4 billion investment in FNZ
- Vedra on its SFDR compliance strategy in respect of the Hycap Fund and associated acquisitions
- Teva on its market-leading sustainability linked bond
- bp p.l.c. on the $5 billion sale of its global Aromatics and Acetyls businesses to INEOS
- Unilever on the €6.825 billion sale of its global spreads business to KKR
- National Grid on the £13.8 billion sale of a 61% equity interest in its UK gas distribution business (Cadent) to a consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure Real Assets, the largest ever energy infrastructure deal in the UK
Matters may have been completed before joining Paul Hastings.
Engagement & Publications
- “CFTC, Private Sector Actions May Aid Carbon Market Integrity,” Law360, July 20, 2023
- “Enhanced Disclosure Requirements and Potential Multi Jurisdictional Considerations Raised by the SEC’s Proposed ESG Rule,” Private Equity Law Report, August 2, 2022
- “Increasing Focus on Biodiversity-Related Financial Risk Presents New Challenges and Opportunities in Energy and Infrastructure,” Pratt’s Energy Law Report Vol. 22-2, February 2022
- “Disclosures Under Taxonomy Regulation Article 8 Delegated Act,” ESG Investor, 2021
- “The Sustainable Finance Reforms: Threat or Opportunity?,” International Financial Law Review, 2020
- “Managers Face ESG Disclosure Pressure Under ‘Ambitious and Demanding’ EU Regulations,” Creditflux, 2021
- “ESG - Why it Matters to General Counsel,” International Financial Law Review, 2019
- “Should Competition Authorities Integrate Environmental Protection Into Competition Policy?,” Global Antitrust Review, 2009
- Moderator, “Fireside Chat with Olivia Wassenaar of Apollo Global Management,” Kayo’s Sustainable Investment Summit, June 13–14, 2023
- Participant and Steering Committee Member, Cambridge Forum on ESG, January 16 2023
- Moderator, “The Push Towards Enhanced Consideration of ESG Factors is Coming From All Angles,” PEI’s Responsible Investment Forum: Europe, November 16–17, 2022
- Panelist, Climate Litigation and Activism Summit, City & Financial Global, November 11 2022
- Panelist, “How is the Regulatory Landscape Shifting?,” UKSIF Autumn Conference, November 8 2022
- Moderator, “Regulatory Shifts: Mapping Recent Regulatory Changes on the Road to Heightened Global ESG Disclosure,” Private Equity Wire’s Private Equity European ESG Summit, September 27, 2022
- Moderator, “Specialist and generalist impact investment strategies,” PEI Impact Investor Global Summit London 2022, May 18–19, 2022
- Speaker, “Regulatory shifts and greenwashing: Mapping recent regulatory changes on the road to heightened global ESG disclosure,” Private Equity US ESG Summit, May 4, 2022
- Speaker, “ESG Regulation: What's Next?,” ACA Regulatory Horizon 2022, March 8–10, 2022
- Speaker, “GC Webcast: What is private equity doing to combat climate change?,” Global Custodian, January 26, 2022
- Moderator, “The Continued Rise of Impact Investing in Alternatives,” Women in Private Markets Summit, December 1–2, 2021
- Member of the Steering Committee of the Cambridge Forum on ESG
- Member of the Energy and Climate Change Working Group, UK Environmental Law Association
- The Social Mobility Foundation