External Publications

Time to Stand Up: Elevating Human Rights in Joint Venture Legal Agreements

Today, companies are under extreme pressure to improve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. For mining and other firms whose operations are often located in remote geographies, may interfere with indigenous peoples’ lands or existing communities, and involve inherently dangerous activities, protecting human rights and building productive relationships with local communities are fundamental to maintaining a firm’s social license to operate. To date, most mining companies have focused their human rights and community engagement efforts and reporting on wholly owned and other operated or controlled assets, believing that such operations both expose the firm to higher risks and provide greater ability to mitigate those risks.

But these efforts are insufficient as they do not address investments in which the company holds a minority or non-operating position. While mining companies may address these issues in their non-operated joint ventures (JVs)[1]We use the phrase “non-operated JVs” for consistency across this article. Other terms commonly used include non-controlled JVs, non-managed JVs, partner-operated JVs, and operated-by-others (OBO) … Continue reading on an ad hoc basis, most have not yet focused systematically on human rights and community engagement issues in this asset class.

Now is the time to do so. Why? First, JVs are highly material to the mining sector.

Read the full article originally published in The Foundation Journal for Natural Resources and Energy Law.

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About the Authors

Neetin Gulati

Neetin Gulati is a Senior Director at Ankura based in New York who specializes in advising clients on structuring and negotiating complex transactions, and, in particular, joint venture-related transactions. He has worked across a wide range of transaction types, including M&A, divestitures and spin-offs, minority equity investments, joint ventures, alliances and partnerships.

James Bamford

James Bamford is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura based in Washington, DC. He joined Ankura with the firm’s 2020 acquisition of Water Street Partners, which he co-founded in 2008. Water Street Partners has been independently ranked as the number one global advisor on joint ventures since 2017. Prior to Water Street, he was global co-lead of the Joint Venture & Alliance Practice at McKinsey & Company.

Tracy Branding Pyle

Tracy Branding Pyle is a Managing Director at Ankura who specializes in helping organizations navigate complex transactions, and, in particular, joint venture-related transactions. She works with a wide array of U.S. and international companies across industries to help them structure, negotiate, approve, and launch joint ventures to set these ventures up for success. She additionally advises on governance of individual joint ventures and portfolios of joint ventures to help companies to minimize risk, increase efficiencies, and find value. Prior to joining Ankura, Tracy practiced law at Hogan Lovells, where she advised clients on joint ventures, public and private mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance matters. Tracy is based in Washington, DC.

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