Working with Kew Gardens to protect the planet's biodiversity | Fieldfisher
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Working with Kew Gardens to protect the planet's biodiversity



United Kingdom

Since 2012, Fieldfisher has supported conservation charity, The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, to address the global challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change.

Ecosystem protection enhances people's livelihoods, counteracts climate change, and prevents the collapse of biodiversity. Kew Gardens houses 2.4 billion seeds, the world's largest collection from wild plants, placing it as a key custodian of the planet's natural resources.

Fieldfisher and Kew Gardens have a deep-rooted relationship, starting in 1995 when the firm contributed to the restoration of the Japanese Gardens. Since 2012, the firm has provided pro bono advice on plant databases, IP and privacy issues, litigation matters and on commercial contract projects to create product collaborations with top brands. Lawyers from across the firm's specialist areas have worked with Kew, building its capacity to develop new methods to protect the environment. One of the projects involved our Technology team advising Kew on the use of artificial intelligence to track the illegal trade of endangered species. Not only will this enable Kew to evaluate the danger of internet trade, but will also allow a greater understanding of how "web crawler" technology can be used to combat threats to species survival. 

In 2021, Kew launched its new "Manifesto for Change 2021-2030". Through providing pro bono support, we strengthen their mission to:

  • Deliver science-based knowledge and solutions to protect biodiversity and use natural resources sustainably
  • Inspire people to protect the natural world
  • Train the next generation of experts
  • Extend their reach to wider audiences
  • Influence national and international opinion and policy

Diane Scott, General Counsel at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew says: "Fieldfisher has been providing Kew with invaluable pro bono legal advice for a number of years. We benefit from the breadth of the firm's expertise, and the knowledge and pragmatism that its lawyers bring. We appreciate the work of all staff involved in the pro bono programme, supporting Kew in our mission to understand and protect plants and fungi for the wellbeing of people and the future of all life on Earth."

James Lewis, client relationship partner for Kew, comments: "Kew continues to be at the forefront of work on biodiversity and conservation, and we feel that the goals of its Manifesto for Change 2021-30 chime with Fieldfisher's own desire to take a responsible approach to how our business operates sustainably in the world around us."

Strengthening conservation organisations is a vital way of doing our bit. Kew is leading the way but we must all join #GenerationRestoration and continue leveraging our skills to drive forward impact alongside conservation experts. Our flagship forestation initiative, Rooting for Change complements the work we do to build the capacity of organisations like Kew. Read more about our commitment to sustainability at Fieldfisher here.