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3 minute read • published in partnership with Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell appoints new manufacturing sector lead

Law firm Irwin Mitchell is continuing to bolster its industry sector teams with the appointment of respected environment lawyer, Claire Petricca-Riding, as the head of its national manufacturing group.

Claire joined Irwin Mitchell’s real estate team in 2019 as a partner and national head of planning. She will continue in this role but will also now lead the 20-strong team of sector experts which includes lawyers from a range of legal disciplines including commercial litigation, M&A, real estate and tax. Earlier this year, Claire was named in the top 100 ‘Powerlist’ of influential environment advisers by leading sustainability publication, The ENDS Report.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell has appointed a new sector lead for manufacturing / Picture: Irwin Mitchell

Claire said: “The environment is the golden thread running through the entire manufacturing sector. It incorporates a wide set of challenges and these issues are moving up the corporate agenda and have the potential to reach the very top. I’m looking forward to using my legal expertise in this area to add value to our clients – ensuring they’re not only protected but can seize exciting opportunities and generate new business.”

According to Claire, there are a number of reasons why the environment has become more influential within the manufacturing sector. “The drive to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and the current energy crisis is forcing many manufacturers to consider alternative sources of energy and how they can use much less power. Consumers are also demanding change and turning their backs on businesses and brands that don’t operate in a sustainable manner,” she said.

Highlighting the growing impact of environmental, social & governance (ESG) frameworks in the sector, Claire says that manufacturers should ensure their strategy sees ESG not simply through the lens of risk management. “Manufacturers are developing their own ESG framework and environmental issues such as climate change, carbon reduction and recycling are all part of the process. There is however more to ESG than simply protection, compliance and risk management. ESG is about everything an organisation does and how it goes about doing it. Developing and implementing sustainable business practices in order to future proof your business and create long-term goodwill with your customers and stakeholders. It offers an opportunity to engage investors and stakeholders through transparent reporting and cohesive business strategy.

“In this new role I want to help UK manufacturers grasp the nettle and take a proactive approach to tackling the myriad of environmental challenges they face. Those that do will be more robust and in far stronger positions to survive and succeed in the future. I’m also determined to build on the growth that’s been achieved in recent years. I am also excited to lead a fantastic team who all understand the life cycle of manufacturing businesses and are able to offer tailored legal solutions at the right time – whether that be in relation to succession planning or advice on a real estate transaction.”

Amongst the range of services that Irwin Mitchell provides for manufacturers are commercial litigation and dispute resolution; intellectual property; employment law; commercial; regulatory and compliance. Its corporate lawyers provide advice on M&A, disposals, private equity and equity capital market transactions, as well as everyday corporate matters. Irwin Mitchell advises the full range of manufacturers and is a member of the Food & Drink Federation and the Manufacturing Technology Association. In addition to manufacturing, Irwin Mitchell has dedicated teams advising businesses and individuals in the consumer goods, sport, media & entertainment, real estate, financial services and education sectors.