Turning Talk Into Action

Ministerial Roundtable: 14 January 2025

Conference and Exhibition: 15 - 16 January 2025

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Turning Talk Into Action


Ernst is a senior associate based in Herbert Smith Freehills’ Johannesburg office in South Africa reporting directly to the Head of ESG (UK, US and EMEA).  Ernst has been mandated within his role to be the main point person responsible for ESG across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), supporting the strategic focus of both the Global and UK, US and EMEA ESG leads. Ernst is a "Natural Scientist turned Regulatory Lawyer". The combination of his skills as Environmental Scientist and Lawyer makes him the ideal ESG lawyer bridging the gap between the ever-expanding universe of ESG rights and specific obligations, technical expertise, and in-depth industry knowledge. Ernst’s clients include governments across Africa and the Middle East, indigenous and local communities, non-government organisations and multinational enterprises. Since qualifying in 2016, Ernst has established himself as the leading ESG lawyer on the continent. His commitment to ESG and success in this field is illustrated by the fact that Ernst currently represents Africa on the International Bar Association's (IBA) Sustainable Development Goals and ESG working group, the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance's steering committee, and the Green Hydrogen Organisation's (GH2) standard committee. In addition, he is regularly invited to participate at conferences across Africa and the Middle East addressing senior stakeholders on ESG topics.