Frances Okosi, partner, collects the award from host, Broadcaster Leanne Manas (left) and awards judge Pavel Hassim, FirstRand Bank Frances Okosi, partner, collects the award from host, Broadcaster Leanne Manas (left) and awards judge Pavel Hassim, FirstRand Bank

Finalists: Bowmans; Chadbourne & Parke; Couto Graça e Associados; Dentons (highly commended); Hogan Lovells; Orrick; Webber Wentzel/Linklaters; Werksmans; White & Case

Baker & McKenzie’s expertise and experience on climate change law and policy saw it win the Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Team of the Year award, having put together a renewable energy implementation guide to help African economies meet their climate change targets set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Working on behalf of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Bakers’ guide lays out a five-step framework for policymakers to convert those targets into domestic policies, strategies and implementation plans, and in such a way that recognises that effective legal and policy reform only works when all stakeholders support the proposed changes.

It also provides guidance on how to incentivise private sector investment and how to source international public and private funding to help implement the reforms.

Led by Sydney-based partner Paul Curnow, the firm was able to showcase its interdisciplinary skills in law, international climate change policy and communications. It developed the guide through a multi-stage drafting process that involved feedback from the client, industry experts and a presentation of an early draft to an IRENA conference in Gabon. Based on the success of the product, IRENA has proposed that Bakers produces a similar guide for southeast Asian countries.