• 'in meeting their duty to protect, States should … Enforce laws that are aimed at, or have the effect of, requiring business enterprises to respect human rights, and periodically to assess the adequacy of such laws and address any gaps…' Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 2011
  • 'human rights due diligence is related to corporate good governance. For many businesses due diligence, in relation to modern slavery, is likely to form part of a wider framework around ethical trade, corporate social responsibility and human rights' Government guidance for the Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • 'fight impunity for corporate crimes by investigating and prosecuting offences' The Corporate Crimes Principles 2016

Business & Human Rights

Advising both individuals and corporates on all issues pertaining to corporate conduct & human rights, QEB Hollis Whiteman has developed an expertise in this niche and developing area as it comes under increased levels of national and international scrutiny.


There has been a sea change in recent years in what businesses are expected to do to identify and address human rights abuses. From significant international provisions such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to recent domestic legislation such as the Modern Slavery Act 2015, there is a growing requirement and expectation that businesses will take appropriate action. QEB Hollis Whiteman’s experts can help.

Our Experience

As Governments introduce human rights procurement conditions, governance codes, reporting duties and national action plans, businesses are under increasing pressure to certify their human rights standards and to disclose how they are addressing human rights risks. 

Our Business & Human Rights group are well placed to advise both individuals and corporates on all issues relating to this growing area of national and international scrutiny. Our recognised expertise in criminal and regulatory law enables us to provide a team of experts for each case to meet the needs of all clients, either a private individual or a business. 

We advise on risk assessment and due diligence to identify potential criminal & regulatory liability and recommend remedial action where necessary.

Recent Cases

Popovic et al (2009)

Katherine Buckle worked on this case, involving war crimes relating to the massacre in Srebrenica,...


Eleanor Laws QC Awarded Crime Silk of the year by Chambers & Partners

Congratulations to Eleanor Laws QC who won Crime Silk of the Year at the annual Chambers and Partners awards which took place on the 19th November. Eleanor has a diverse practice which includes heavyweight and high profile crime.  She regularly...

QEB Hollis Whiteman Ranked Highly in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500

This month Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 published the results of their research on the legal community and the leaders in their fields.  Members of QEB Hollis Whiteman Chambers have 74 acknowledgements in Chambers & Partners across...

Tues 7th July

Nicholas will be speaking on a panel discussing inquests and inquiries alongside other practitioners in this field. The event programme is here , and includes this description of the session: “Inquests and inquiries serve as society’s...


DPP v M [2020] EWHC 3422 (Admin)

Considering the admissibility of the Single Competent Authority's decision at trial Where a Defendant is relying on the modern slavery defence under s.45 Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“MSA”) one frequent issue between Prosecution and Defence is...

A Briefing Note: The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill.

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill is in the process of being considered by Parliament. It is currently at the Committee stage in the House of Lords, having passed the House of Commons. The provisions of the Bill make far-reaching...

Modern Slavery Act review 2nd interim report

Nadesh Karu examines Frank Field MP, Maria Miller MP and Baroness Butler-Sloss' 2nd interim report into their review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.