Maggie Peloso, head of the climate change practice at Vinson & Elkins, has been appointed lead sustainability partner for the firm.

One of the nation’s top climate attorneys, Peloso is a founding member of V&E’s Environmental, Social and Governance Task Force, and her expanded responsibilities include coordinating the firm’s own ESG strategy while addressing the growing needs of its clients.

Maggie Peloso

Peloso knows the subject well and is a natural choice for the position. In 2017, she literally wrote the book on it, “Adapting to Rising Sea Levels: Legal Challenges and Opportunities.”

Nationwide, a growing focus on environmental and social issues from large institutional investors as well as small stockholders has made such concerns priorities for 21st century corporate boards. Directors, in turn, are driving growth in related legal practices as they seek counsel balancing the new demands – which include government-mandated disclosures – with their core duties of driving growth and profitability.

“I have seen the evolution of ESG and how it has become embedded in nearly every part of our clients’ business,” Peloso said. “My role at the firm will help us look at ESG from multiple angles in order to best serve clients, while operating in a rapidly changing world of stakeholder interests and regulatory risks.” 

In her own practice, Peloso will continue to focus on risk management and environmental litigation, advising companies, financial institutions and funds on climate risk analysis, environmental law, and environmental shareholder activism issues.

“While we have built our reputation as an industry leader in the energy evolution and ESG advisory services, risks continue to expand,” the firm’s Executive Committee said in an internal memo announcing Peloso’s new title. “Just as our clients have to navigate a rapidly evolving ESG landscape, we have asked Maggie to continue to integrate our services in this space across practice groups.”

Peloso also teaches a class at University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School entitled “Climate Change and the Energy Evolution.” She holds a JD from Stanford Law School, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duke University, where she also earned a Ph.D in Environment.