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Professor Andreas Hoepner

University College Dublin, Ireland


Dora Blanchet.jpeg

Dora Blanchet

European Securities & Markets Authority, Paris


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Professor Kim Schumacher

Kyushu University, Japan


The Law & ESG - At the Crossroads of Law & Social Responsibility: Which Way the Lawyer ? 

Highlights from IFIS's Law & ESG Luncheon

By Vivek Cornelio


April 25th, 2024, the Institute for Financial Integrity and Sustainability (IFIS) welcomed legal and governance professionals to Cercle Munster in Luxembourg to unravel the intertwined threads of Law and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns. Central to this illuminating event was Me Emmanuelle Mousel, Partner at Arendt & Medernach, who shone a light on the path forward for the legal sector in these transformative times.


The Legal Profession: A Historical Tapestry

Led by Me Mousel,  we reflected on the genesis of the law and its professionals. From ancient priests to modern-day advocates, the legal profession has long grappled with the intersection of morality and legality. It was a poignant reminder that the essence of law has always been about guiding society through the labyrinth of human values and discipline.


Navigating the ESG Landscape: The Modern Lawyer's Dilemma

The crux of Me Mousel's keynote lay in examining the dual impact of ESG on legal practice. She dissected the intricate relationship between lawyers and their clients, questioning whether ESG rules redefine this dynamic. Is the modern lawyer an advisor, an advocate, or a navigator with a moral compass?


The Octopus of ESG: Complexities and Expectations

Comparing the ESG framework to a "giant octopus," Me Mousel highlighted its vast reach and complex nature. With regulations that are diverse, intertwined, and ever evolving, she conveyed the lawyer's role as critical in not just interpreting these rules but anticipating their multifaceted impacts.


Lawyers: The Moral Compass in an ESG-Centric World

Perhaps the most stirring aspect of the talk was the debate as to whether lawyers  should, or are expected to, transcend their traditional roles and not just navigate legalities but also engage in defining what is 'right,' thus serving as a compass that points businesses toward ethical north. A proposition that raises a number of questions, notably relative to the expectation that the lawyer shows loyalty to the client, acts free of conflict of interest, remains independent and acts in the best interests of the client


Law Firms and ESG: An Internal Revolution

Me Mousel turned the lens inward, focusing on how law firms themselves must embody the principles of ESG within their operations. It's an introspective journey for these firms, requiring them to upskill so as to comprehend the  legal nuances of ESG and to reflect upon how their business is compatible with sustainable values.


Conclusion: The Renaissance of Legal Skills

In conclusion, Me Mousel underscored that while the essence of legal service remains constant, the content has irrevocably shifted. ESG is no longer a fringe topic, but a core competency that lawyers must master.


The ensemble considered the increasing need to be clear about the role of the various parties involved along the spectrum of influence on ESG behaviour and impact.


ESG business strategy is the purview of the Executive along with the ESG consultant. The in-house lawyer, on the other hand, is a part of the business and understands its ethics and desired impact on its stakeholders. This is the person who not only interprets the law for the firm, but also navigates its moral compass and may evaluate ESG law and regulation as it impacts their employer. The external legal counsel may harbour their personal opinions, but has a duty to remain neutral in the provision of their advice. The task is increasingly challenged by demands placed on law firms to themselves evaluate and certify their ESG compliance and impact. Lawyers and lawmakers alike must recognize and protect the unique role of the lawyer in defending the integrity and justice of our legal systems.


The Law & ESG Luncheon Conference might have ended, but the conversations it sparked will continue to resonate within the halls of justice.


To participate in our future events visit




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Me Emmanuelle Mousel

Partner in the Insurance, Reinsurance, Banking & Financial Services Practice of

Arendt & Medernach


Fostering a strong corporate culture and how to adhere to human rights regulations ?

Why is corporate culture fundamental to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) compliance and how does it set the tone for ethical behavior and responsible business practices ? Spuerkeess spoke to Anthony Smith-Meyer, Executive Director at IFIS who provided insight and five useful tips for their readers.

Please click here for full interview.

Greenwashing. What is it actually, and why is it a precarious road to travel down? Participants to our IFIS conference uncovered the skullduggery and the pitfalls facing those who believe you can fool all of the people, all of the time ... you can't.

Presentations available for download:

- Greenwashing: Definition, Detection and Disclosure, by Prof. Andreas G.F. Hoepner (University College Dublin)

- ESMA's perspective on Greenwashing, by Dora Blanchet (ESMA Sustainable Finance Unit)

- "Competence Greenwashing" as a part of "The Greenwashing Equation", by Prof. Kim Schumacher (Kyushi University)



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Professor Andreas Hoepner

University College Dublin, Ireland


Dora Blanchet.jpeg

Dora Blanchet

European Securities & Markets Authority, Paris


Kim Schuhmacher.jpeg

Professor Kim Schumacher

Kyushu University, Japan


Board governance in 2024

The INSEAD Directors Forum featured our Anthony Smith-Meyer and ILA Chair Virginie Lagrange in a New Year interview for 2024. By their permission we can reproduce the transcript of the interview here . What are the main challenges facing boardroom governance in 2024 ?

Please click here

Reflecting on a Groundbreaking Evening: Climate & Bio-Diversity Risk


The Institute for Financial Integrity and Sustainability (IFIS) is proud to reflect on an evening that marked a significant milestone in our journey towards a sustainable future. On the 6th of November, 2023, we hosted the "Climate & Bio-Diversity Risks"  evening conference and reception at Batiment Rousegaertchen, a venue generously sponsored by Spuerkeess.


Esteemed keynote speaker Nadia Humphreys from Bloomberg captivated the audience with her insightful keynote address that delved into the pressing global issues of climate change and, increasingly, biodiversity. Her compelling narrative underscored the crucial interplay between global economic health and the integrity of our natural ecosystems, exposing the stark reality that our collective prosperity depends on the planet's biological diversity.


Panelists Rodolphe Belli, Head of Sustainability at Spuerkeess, and, Eila Kreivi of the European Investment Bank, were guided by Anthony Smith-Meyer, Director at IFIS as moderator through a thought-provoking dialogue, exploring the close relationship between financial stability and ecological conservation. As global biodiversity faces unprecedented challenges, the discussions between panellists and participants underscored the need for financial frameworks that recognize and integrate nature-related risks and opportunities.

The event was not only an occasion for knowledge sharing but also an opportunity for leaders and enthusiasts from various sectors to connect and envision a path forward in the face of climate challenges.


We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our Keynote speaker, panellists, and attendees for making this event a fountain of inspiration and commitment.


Stay Connected and Informed

Don't miss out on future events and updates from IFIS. Follow us on LinkedIn and keep an eye on our website for the latest in financial integrity and sustainability.


Together, we continue to work towards a resilient future, grounded in the principles of sustainability and integrity.

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Success Spotlight: IFIS Lunchtime Conference & Walking Lunch

"How early do we develop financial confidence ? " Dr. Mara C. Harvey answered this pivotal question as our keynote speaker during the recent IFIS Lunchtime Conference & Walking Lunch

Centered around “A Gender Lens on Generational Wealth Transfer and Financial Literacy: Diversity, Literacy, and the Financial Sector,” the event was a co
nfluence of profound insights and stimulating discussions.


Here is a snapshot of the event's highlights. A big thank you to all who contributed to its success: our distinguished Keynote Speaker, Dr. Mara Catherine Harvey, CEO of VP Bank Switzerland, who shared her wealth of experience and insights, our esteemed panellists, Prof. Skerdi ZANAJ of the University of Luxembourg, and Dr. Tahereh Pazouki, Ph.D , Founder and CEO of Magrid Learning Solution, for their invaluable contributions and enlightening discussions during the course of the panel discussions, and Mr Claus Jørgensen and VP Bank (Luxembourg) SA, which made this event possible thanks to their generous support.

Stay tuned for more updates and upcoming events from the Institute of Financial Integrity and Sustainability (IFIS) as we continue to foster dialogue and promote best practices in the financial sector.


Since 2009 a number of our founders saw the need to foster fairness, transparency, responsibility and accountability in the financial sector.  Financial market players are best served by an open and active debate of the issues of integrity.

Ten years on, integrity, sustainability and trust have become driving factors for lasting success in the financial markets and mutual acceptance by all stakeholders – market actors, regulators, governments, clients and civil society at large.  They are fundamental for doing business with a long-term perspective.

Hand in hand with the refocusing of the approach, including formulation of vision and mission statements, goes the introduction of our name: the


 ‘Institute for Financial Integrity and Sustainability’ – ‘‘IFIS”

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