Should solicitors or barristers turn down work from fossil fuel companies? What is the role of law in the transition from an oil based economy? We explore the changing face of accountability with Haley Czarnek, National Director of Law Students for Climate Accountability, Alexander Rhodes, Partner and Head of Purpose at corporate law firm Mishcon de Reya and Paul Powlesland, Barrister and Founder of Lawyers for Nature.
Haley Czarnek (she/they) served on LSCA’s first National Leadership Committee as a 3L at the University of Alabama, and graduated in May 2022.
Haley has since begun developing their role as LSCA’s first US National Director, and is excited to support the committee and student organizers as they build a movement to change the culture of the legal profession.
Recently, Haley also served as a coordinator and editor for LSCA’s “Carbon Circle” report examining the UK legal industry, the first LSCA research aimed outside of the US. Outside of LSCA, Haley enjoys gardening, hanging out with their dog, Tig, talking about comedy, and spending as much time as possible with organizers in the US south.
Alexander is a Partner and Head of Mishcon Purpose. He provides strategic Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) advice and purpose-driven insight to help clients navigate the opportunities and risks presented by a rapidly changing world.
Alexander is a trusted advisor to typically international clients, with more than 15 years legal and global consultancy experience. He acts for families in relation to their personal, business and philanthropic interests; businesses seeking transition to more sustainable and resilient ways of working. He is privileged to have worked closely with governments and global leaders in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
A seasoned litigator, he has particular expertise in the resolution of complex multi-jurisdictional disputes, usually with reputational aspects, and public affairs. As a trustee and advisor, Alexander’s long-term preoccupation has been balancing the imperatives of environmental conservation and human development.
He was the founding CEO of the charity Stop Ivory; head of the Secretariat to the inter-governmental Elephant Protection Initiative; and is a Chairman of Tusk Trust.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a Conservation Fellow of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). In 2018 the ZSL named him its Conservationist of the Year in recognition of his work supporting African governments in combatting the illegal ivory trade and in elephant conservation.
Alexander sits on the advisory board of the Athens Democracy Forum.
Paul Powlesland is passionate about protecting and representing the natural world and all who seek to defend it. He specialises in upholding the rights of environmental activists to protest and protect the natural world, and uses environmental law and regulations to defend trees, rivers and wildlife.
Paul is the founder of Lawyers for Nature and regularly gives talks and workshops on the rights of nature, the relationship between the law and the natural world and what barristers and other lawyers should do in a time of climate and ecological emergency. He is also a founding member of Lawyers are Responsible, which campaigns for lawyers to stop supporting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry.