What we do

Business and Human Rights: The role of the legal profession


«We aim for leading legal profession that protects human rights and gets engaged againts the injustice the world faces». Fernando Pombo


The Fernando Pombo Foundation has launched a program about the lawyer’s role in the compliance by multinationals of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by multinationals.

In 2008, the UN published “UN Protect, Respect and Remedy: A framework for business and Human Rights” and in 2011 “The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “protect, respect and remedy” framework”.

In October of 2011, the European Union launched a new strategy for 2011 – 2014 on corporate social responsibility, in which they invited all Member States to develope a national plan to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights “protect, respect and remedy” framework.

The Spanish Government accepted this invitation and the Human Rights Office is currently promoting the creation of a National Plan on Business and Human Rights in accordance withe the established on the European strategy.



The program intends to raise awareness within the legal profession of the importance that this new legal framework means to the development of international business. Furthermore, the program aims at promoting within corporate lawyers, and specifically via their legal counseling, a culture of human rights compliance in multinationals, contributing to spread social and economical progress.

The objectives are the following:

  • Contribute to the public awareness in business compliance of human rights.
  • Encourage the private sector, through the relations between lawyers and clients, to contribute with the global governance of human rights.
  • Promote and contribute to the debate about the protection of human rights and fundamental liberties in multinational corporations and in the legal profession.
  • Collaborate with companies so they can effectively manage their risks to prevent human rights violations caused as a consequence of their legitimate business activities.
  • Search, through the legal profession, the development of incentives for the companies to fully incorporate the human rights to their daily activity.
  • Provide business lawyers and in house legal departments of multinationals, training in human rights and contribute to research in the field.

The intended objectives can be defined within the following activities:

  • Education and academical research activities.
  • Training activities.
  • Counseling activities.
  • Promotion and awareness activities.



The Role of the Lawyer in Implementing the Ruggie Principles: 8 Good Practises For Corporate Lawyers



The Fernando Pombo Foundation has published the book “The role of the lawyer in the implementation of the Ruggie Principles: 8 good practices for business lawyers” a unique collective work that gathers the investigation carried out on the key role law has in the new global framework of the UN Guiding Principles.

Ana Ovejero (academic coordinator of the Fernando Pombo Foundation) coordinated this book, in which highlighted lawyers and experts in innovation in law have participated. This book fits within our framework “Business and Human Rights: the role of the legal profession”. Among the authors of this book we can find Ana Ovejero, coordinator of the project; Cristina Puigdengolas, attorney and person in charge of “Business and Human Rights: the role of the legal profession” at the Foundation; Estela Casajuana, specialist in Business and Human Rights; Patricia Beltrán, attorney at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo; Bárbara Linder, senior researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights in Vienna, Austria; Jordi Fernández, Communication and Innovation Director at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo; and Eugenia Navarro, Strategic Consultant for law firms and Director of the Executive Master in Marketing for legal services at ESADE Business and Law School.

The book was presented on July 15 in the auditorium of Gómez-Acebo & Pombo law firm in Madrid. Mr. Ángel Juanes Peces, Vice-president of the Supreme Court and of the General Council of the Judiciary and author of the book’s prologue, defined this work as “original and cutting-edge”, “a book that lays the foundations of a new point of view in the legal profession and its social responsibility”.

This book is the result of many years of investigation of the “Business and Human Rights: the role of the legal profession” project, pioneer initiative of the Fernando Pombo Foundation to reinforce the role of the legal profession as a multiplier agent of social change and innovation.

The book can be directly purchased at the webpages of LexisNexis (english version) and Tirant Lo Blanch (spanish version).


Carmen Pombo, Director of the Foundation, is a member of the IBA Business & Human Rights Working Group, where she has collaborated in the creation of the following guides, which have been passed by the IBA in 2015 and 2016 respectively: