Paul Barker

Paul is a partner in the Bay Area office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and a member of the Firm’s ESG & Impact Practice Group, which 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 ESG and climate-related regulatory requirements, investor demands, strategic opportunities, voluntary reporting frameworks and coalitions, risk-based due diligence, and litigation risk.

Paul’s practice focuses on counselling clients in the US and worldwide on ESG risks and opportunities, particularly in relation to climate change, sustainable finance, the net zero energy transition, and litigation risk. He works closely with colleagues in the Firm’s Hong Kong and London offices on cross-border issues involving Asian and/or European jurisdictions.

On climate change, Paul advises in respect of climate-related physical, transition, and litigation risk. Paul also advises on climate finance and carbon markets (offset credits). He has deep knowledge of the multitude of legal frameworks and dispute resolution forums, including under public international law, domestic laws, and special regimes.

In respect of sustainable finance, Paul advises on green products including ESG/sustainability-linked loans, and the global network of frameworks, standards, and regulations, including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations.

As an experienced international litigator, Paul is particularly well placed to advise on ESG and climate-related litigation risk. Paul has acted as counsel and advocate for corporates and sovereigns in cross-border commercial, finance, and investor-State disputes before courts and international arbitration tribunals in jurisdictions throughout Asia, Europe, and the US. Prior to joining the Firm, Paul practiced as a barrister from a prominent London chambers. He was ranked as a leading barrister for international law and international arbitration by The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal, which describes Paul as “an exceptionally gifted and skilled lawyer” with “a brilliant strategic mind.”

In the business and human rights field, Paul advises clients on risk-based due diligence, establishing effective corporate governance and monitoring, and litigation risk.

Paul regularly speaks on climate change, ESG investing, the net zero energy transition, and international investment. Paul is a research fellow at Stanford Law School’s Gould Center for Conflict Resolution and has lectured at Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School, and the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong.

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