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Osborne Clarke's head of decarbonisation, James Watson, has been nominated as Leader of the Year in the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2021


Written on 19 July 2021

The BusinessGreen Leaders Awards are one of Europe’s most prestigious business and environmental events. Now in its eleventh year, the awards bring together hundreds of the UK’s top green executives, entrepreneurs, investors, campaigners, and political leaders to showcase the many achievements of the green economy ahead of this year’s Net Zero Festival and the critical COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow.

James was made head of decarbonisation in September 2020 as part of Osborne Clarke’s new 3D Client Strategy. This unique approach brings together three elements: legal skills/services, sector specialisms, and the new element, three Transformation Drivers (Decarbonisation, Digitalisation and Urban Dynamics). These are global trends which are simultaneously reflecting and shaping the changing world around us and creating opportunities for business.

James has brought together an international team of over 50 lawyers to form a market-leading Decarbonisation team which is now working with clients across the world to help them achieve their own Net Zero ambitions and those of their governments.

James is also part of the team examining Osborne Clarke’s own Net Zero position and its commitment to being an environmentally sustainable business with embedded principles and operational frameworks to achieve this.

As a result of James’s and the team’s focus on decarbonisation, he has become the first lawyer on the Trade Promotion Group of the Corporation of London focused on Net Zero. He is also regularly cited in the media commenting on decarbonisation issues, related policy announcements and the rapidly emerging sector in the UK and the contribution of business.

Osborne Clarke has also now launched a new podcast series titled ‘Decarbonisation | In conversation with…‘. This podcast has been set up to capture conversations with individuals who are pushing the boundaries across Net Zero. For this first edition, James interviewed Simon Whistler from the UN PRI and Roberto Castiglioni, Co-Founder and CEO of Ikigai Capital

The full list of BusinessGreen Leader of the Year nominations are as follows:

  • Alison Rose – NatWest
  • Beverley Gower-Jones – Clean Growth Fund
  • James Watson – Osborne Clarke
  • Nick Lyth – Green Angel Syndicate
  • Paul Ellis – Ecology Building Society (Move from Lifetime Achievement Award winner?)
  • Purvi Sapre – SEEIT, Sustainable Development Capital LLP
  • Ross Armstrong – Warmworks Scotland
  • Simon Morrish – Ground Control
  • Tom Rumboll – Synetiq
  • Vaughan Lindsay – ClimateCare

The full shortlist can be found here: BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2021 – 2021 Shortlist

The Business Green Leaders Awards 2021 will take place on 22nd September 2021 at The Brewery, London.

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James Watson

Partner, Head of Decarbonisation, UK

T +44 20 7105 7254

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