NICOLAS J.S. LOCKHART’s practice covers public international law, with a focus on trade and environment, and EU law relating to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues.
With a broad understanding of sustainability policy, at both national and international level, Nic advises companies on the full breadth of ESG issues. Nic leads Sidley’s work assisting companies in addressing the wave of EU ESG legislation, including the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D), the Deforestation Regulation, and the proposed Green Claims Directive. Nic counsels clients on ESG marketing communications in the face of growing regulatory and litigation risks. He also advises on the EU “Fit for 55” package, including the revised Emissions Trading System, Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, and ReFuel; and the EU circular economy package, which includes measures addressing batteries, eco-design, reuse, repair, packaging, and waste. Nic has contributed to two papers on the circular economy published by the World Economic Forum, linked here and here. Nic also advises and publishes on carbon pricing, including the use of carbon offsets (e.g., corporate strategy on the use of offsets; and issues arising under the Paris Agreement and CORSIA, an international aviation agreement on carbon pricing).
Nic’s practice also includes international law. He advises governments and other stakeholders on general public international law, including international trade law, the international climate regime, international waste shipment, the law of the sea, and the interface between international trade and environmental law. Nic is currently leading a Sidley team advising an international governmental organization in advisory proceedings on legal implications of climate change, before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. Nic teaches on trade and sustainability, and the international climate regime, at the World Trade Institute of the University of Berne.
Nic features on the “A” list of standing counsel to the UK Attorney General on issues of public international law. He is also featured prominently in the published rankings of practitioners in the field of international trade law:
- As in the previous editions, Nic holds a Band 1 ranking for International Trade/WTO in Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2023 (Europe-wide). A client describes him as “a very smart lawyer; he thinks strategically and knows WTO law very well. He is really effective.”
- Holding a Band 1 ranking for International Trade/WTO in Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2022. In the 2021 edition, interviewees say that “he is able to get his points across to all of the different stakeholders because he deconstructs difficult legal issues into simple words.”
- Clients describe him as “very gifted legally and a very talented advocate.” Another source states: “He’s very creative in building arguments and positions and does not feel confined to how things have always been done. He is willing to think of new ideas.” (Chambers 2019)
- Lauded as “a tremendous trial lawyer who is an eloquent, convincing and effective communicator.” (Chambers Global 2017)
Most recently, Nic has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in Switzerland guide 2022 for Trade Law.