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Governance & Leadership


The ESG Leadership Group oversee and monitor the implementation of the ESG Strategy. 

ESG Leadership Group

Day-to-day, the ESG Leadership Group will actively challenge and champion ESG at all levels of the business, help remove barriers to progress, and support the establishment of ESG policies, procedures and metrics. Members of the ESG Leadership Group include DWF’s Group Chief Operating Officer and as a minimum, appropriate representatives from Company Secretariat, Client Development, Facilities, Property & Procurement, Finance, Risk and HR.

The ESG Leadership Group identifies and, via the Group Head of ESG, reports quarterly to the Executive Board on ESG risks and opportunities, and actions needed to improve ESG in line with the ESG Strategy and evolving internal and external stakeholder expectations.

ESG Operations Board

The ESG Operations Board is responsible for the delivery of our work streams under each of our six priorities and the forum is designed to review progress and share ideas on new projects to then present to the ESG Leadership Group. Progress is monitored via a RAG Tracker and ESG Dashboard which is reviewed fortnightly.

Commercial Conflicts Committee

The role and purpose of the Commercial Conflicts Committee is to ensure that any unresolved commercial conflict is given unbiased consideration based on evidence, fact or business case. The objective is to ensure that the global positioning of DWF, the contractual expectations of its clients, and the commercial opportunities and best outcomes for the DWF Group are sought and supported. The committee meet no less than twice per year.

Risk & Sanctions Committee

Due to the ongoing war following Russia's invasion on Ukraine, we have established a Risk & Sanctions Committee that the ESG Leadership Group cohesively work with to enhance who we represent and engage with. The Risk & Sanctions Committee's responsibilities include continually review our global processes and policies, to act as a sounding board on all client take-on and new business decisions, where necessary and to ensure that all new business decisions are taken in line with our ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) strategy and our commitment to ethical business.

D&I Leadership Group

Our D&I Leadership Group includes over 50 members globally. The group are key to changing and improving how we recruit and train our people on D&I including the introduction of blind CV's for senior management roles, mandatory inclusive hiring training and increasing recruitment of underrepresented groups. We also have D&I Executive Board Sponsors for each diversity strand.


Working with Business in the Community, the largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business, we are undertook a comprehensive materiality assessment to identify the ESG risks and opportunities that are most important for our Group and our stakeholders to inform our new ESG Strategy. The approach we are taking aligns with external ESG frameworks including GRI, SASB and the UN Global Compact. 

We followed a four-stage process: 

  1. desk-based research to create a "long list" of material issues 
  2. stakeholder mapping and interviews with internal and external stakeholders to ensure diverse insight and perspectives and prioritise the most material issues 
  3. validate the draft materiality matrix through additional stakeholder engagement 
  4. use the completed materiality assessment to inform our ESG Strategy to 2030.

A systematic approach to materiality will enable us to effectively drive the implementation of our new ESG Strategy across our business, measure whether the changes we implement are having an effect, and so better respond to stakeholder expectations. The final materiality matrix will clearly illustrate the ESG issues that our materiality assessment suggests are important to our Group. We are committed to working closely with all our stakeholders and will review our materiality matrix at least every two years to ensure our approach remains fit for purpose. The materiality matrix can also be used by our stakeholders to understand the focus of our approach and track our progress.

Leadership team

Abi Duff-Walker

Head of Sustainability.
Abi Duff-Walker
Abi supports the development of our internal ESG strategy, to ensure that we are working effectively to integrate responsible business practice across DWF. Abi also focuses specifically on DWF's response to the climate and biodiversity crises, and managing our carbon reduction targets.

Dan Noakes

Head of ESG Operations & Business Development.
Dan Noakes
Dan works closely with our Group Head of ESG on the implementation and delivery of our ESG strategy and how we operationalise it within the business. Additionally, Dan is responsible for how we build and promote our ESG strategy and proposition both with clients and the wider ESG market, and oversees our external ESG ratings and scores.

Darren Drabble

Group General Counsel and Company Secretary.
Darren Drabble
Darren is our Group General Counsel and Company Secretary and is responsible for providing the ESG Leadership Group with strategic legal advice, while overseeing legal compliance, corporate governance and managing risk and ensuring ESG is embedded throughout our business operations.

Darren Walsh

Partner & Global Co-head of Energy Sector.
Darren Walsh

Darren provides the ESG Leadership Group with advice on the execution of our environmental priorities and has a key role in helping the business to identify and deliver  decarbonisation and other environmental projects – work Darren has also been doing with clients.

Darren is a Partner at DWF and Head of Power. He is an Energy lawyer specialising in low carbon and renewable energy projects, with particular expertise in the nuclear sector.

Deborah Abraham

Group Director of Risk.
Deborah Abraham

Deborah is our Group Director of Risk and responsible for ensuring that all business decisions are looked at through an ESG lens and therefore ensuring we mitigate the possibility of any risk and our business remains sustainable in the future.

Deborah advises DWF on Governance, Risk Management and Compliance including leading the Business Excellence Strategy and leads our Risk and Sanctions Committees.

Kirsty Rogers

Global Head of ESG and Executive Board sponsor.
Kirsty Rogers

Kirsty is our Global Head of ESG and Executive Board sponsor who has oversight of the delivery of our global ESG strategy, ensuring we have the governance and operations in place to deliver on our targets and key metrics. Kirsty is also the Chair of our ESG Leadership Group and advises the Board on our progress as well as being a member of our Risk and Sanctions Committees.

Kirsty is an employment lawyer and has been a Partner at DWF since 2007. Kirsty is also our Executive Head of our Manchester office.

Louise Rogerson

Chief People Officer.
Louise Rogerson
Louise is our Chief People Officer and is responsible for all areas impacting our colleagues when it comes to ESG, whether this is recruitment, training or benefits. Louise also oversees our performance against our D&I targets. Louise is focused on developing the Group’s HR team’s contribution to business growth, performance and profitability by aligning the team’s strategic and operational goals to the Group’s business plans.

Mark Harrison

Finance Director.
Mark Harrison
Mark is our Finance Director and oversees all financial aspects of ESG for the business looking at both the expenditure and budgets but also oversees how ESG could impact our financial position and outlook over the short, medium and long term.

Matthew Doughty

Executive Director.
Matthew Doughty

Matthew is our Executive Director with responsibility for delivery on our global ESG strategy . Matthew is Chief Growth & Strategy Officer with responsibility for our Group's operations, corporate development activities, and post-acquisition integration projects and therefore ESG is key to successfully delivering our overall business strategy.

Matthew is a corporate lawyer by background with 25 years' experience in M&A and equity capital markets transactions.

Seema Bains

Partner, Head of Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group.
Seema Bains

Seema is the Head of our Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group and embeds an inclusive culture across the business and looks at new initiatives to diversify our workforce. As D&I is a key priority for our ESG strategy, Seema supports the ESG Leadership Group to be able to deliver our targets and commitments.

Seema has over 20 years experience in defending complex personal injury claims on behalf of insurers, retailers and private individuals.