Human Rights and Global Strategy

Jenner & Block’s Human Rights and Global Strategy Practice advises some of the world’s most sophisticated companies and other clients on complex global challenges, multifaceted international disputes, and fights to advance fundamental rights. Our lawyers bring unmatched experience, credibility, and a values-driven commitment to addressing the toughest threats to human dignity. We have a unique track-record helping clients solve complex transnational crises involving existential threats to businesses, brands, and reputations. We help clients act as agents for change on diverse topics ranging from corruption, technology and freedom of expression, supply chain standards, modern slavery, rule of law, environmental justice and compliance, indigenous rights, and human trafficking. We also pursue cutting-edge litigation to advance justice and vindicate the rights of the vulnerable and abused.

For our corporate clients, we conduct complex independent investigations to develop strategic responses to human rights-related crises; we lead global negotiations with diverse stakeholders including states and multilateral institutions to resolve transnational challenges; we also conduct global reviews for companies seeking to proactively identify and address vulnerabilities in corporate policies, supply chains, and partnerships; and, as necessary, we aid corporate clients to effectively engage with multilateral institutions, often a prerequisite to achieving client objectives. For individual clients, we aggressively pursue relief through litigation, advocacy, and a determination to advance accountability.
Our lawyers have spent decades in public service tackling complex international disputes and as opinion-makers in the field of international human rights. We have worked in and with most major multilateral institutions, treaty bodies, media outlets, regulators, think tanks, and other stakeholders. The team includes a former US ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva; a former US Justice Department litigator and associate general counsel of the Office of the United States Trade Representative; a former US ambassador to the United Nations Security Council and co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Law Committee; and a former State Department attorney adviser to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Among the ways we support clients are:
  • Litigation – using courts around the world to hold perpetrators accountable and advance the dignity and rights of individuals. We bring particular experience at the intersection of human rights and national security.
  • Compliance and Investigations – advising global companies on managing risk worldwide, and especially in jurisdictions creating high levels of exposure, including conducting global reviews of policies, partnerships, supply chains, and corporate systems to mitigate risk.
  • Crisis Management – helping companies respond quickly and strategically when an issue comes to light, conscious that an organization may face numerous existential threats at once. In addition to legal challenges, these may encompass regulatory scrutiny, investor and employee scrutiny, and reputational damage.
  • Disputes with Governments – working with clients – including individuals, foreign governments, and private entities – to navigate transnational disputes ranging from situations involving hostage negotiations to addressing public corruption as well as redress through civil litigation for government wrongdoing.
  • Representation in International Fora – helping companies and individuals, as well as sovereign states, navigate the multilateral mechanisms and ad hoc tribunals including the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, the International Court of Justice, the UN Human Rights Council and its various Special Procedures, judicial and quasi-judicial fora, sanctions panels, and international negotiations. We have also successfully served as counsel to both sovereign states and claimants in disputes under the rules of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
  • Global Strategy Development – helping clients devise holistic strategies to develop global norms that are rational and effective. For example, our lawyers have experience working with the UN Business and Human Rights Forum to assist in developing industry-specific normative expectations for companies.
Our Human Rights and Global Strategy group draws on Jenner & Block’s deep bench across a number of our practices, including Complex Commercial Litigation; Investigations, Compliance and Defense; Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation; International Arbitration; and Public International Law. In each matter, our goal is to protect clients’ operations from risk, operationalize responsible business conduct, and stay aligned with both legal requirements and corporate values.