Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Australia’s leading independent law firm, has appointed seasoned human rights expert Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope as Head of Business and Human Rights.

The newly created role is an expansion of Corrs’ existing board advisory offering, with Phoebe advising clients on the broader business and human rights impacts of their businesses and how to mitigate risk in this area.

Commenting on the appointment, Corrs CEO Gavin MacLaren said: “With greater scrutiny from governments, investors and the public at large on the values and actions of corporates, there is no doubt that this is an issue that is increasingly on the agenda of boards around the country.

“Phoebe has great practical experience, having worked in the humanitarian sector in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South East Asia. Few people have such breadth of experience in this market and we are delighted to be offering our clients such a comprehensive approach to risk management,” he said.

Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope added: “The era of turning a blind eye is well and truly over: businesses need to be asking not only ‘can we’ but ‘should we’. Many of the risks and challenges facing business today arise from real or potential adverse human rights impacts.

“By actively working to identify these risks businesses can build strong brand and reputation, promote investment and enhance sustainability, and the sooner that boards are able to get on the front-foot in this area the better,” she added.

Phoebe has worked extensively with Government, business, academia, the media, and the public to develop excellence in humanitarian practise and promote and advise on best practice in corporate engagement with human rights. She has represented organisations at the United Nations and was a founding Director of the Humanitarian Advisory Group, a social enterprise committed to delivering excellence in the humanitarian sector. Phoebe was Director of International Humanitarian Law and a member of the Leadership Team of Australian Red Cross.