Slaughter and May backs pioneering ocean plastics initiative

eXXpedition Round the World promotes and reflects the firm’s responsible business agenda

Slaughter and May, the international law firm, today announces its sponsorship of eXXpedition Round the World 2019-2021, a pioneering sailing voyage and scientific research mission.

eXXpedition Round the World is an all-female sailing voyage that will travel over 38,000 nautical miles over two years and 30 voyage legs starting and ending in the UK. Its crews will explore the devastating effects of plastics and toxics in our oceans, via four of the five oceanic gyres and the Arctic.

Led by Emily Penn, the eXXpedition crews will be made up of 300 women from diverse multidisciplinary and cultural backgrounds. As an all-female voyage it will also celebrate women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) roles and female leadership, raising awareness of the effects of toxics on women’s health.

The voyage’s purpose reflects the firm’s broad responsible business agenda, especially in key areas such as community, environment, inclusion and pro bono.

Slaughter and May is currently providing pro bono advice to eXXpedition across a number of areas including structuring, contracting and project governance. The firm has also provided over 40 charities with pro bono legal advice over the last year leveraging its legal skills for increased sustainable social impact.

As part of its support for eXXpedition, Slaughter and May will partner with a number of schools on a unique education programme. The firm aims to help inspire the next generation to be active citizens and play their part in addressing one of the greatest environmental issues of our time.

The firm has already made strong commitments on energy use, single-use plastics and reducing its own environmental impact. This includes having reduced its carbon emissions associated with energy use by 63% over the last 10 years and supporting initiatives such as the RE100 and by committing to sourcing 100% renewable energy across its global operation.

The sponsorship of eXXpedition also provides a platform to evolve the conversation on issues affecting women today and stories about female empowerment and leadership through focussed client and staff events.  

Throughout its history Slaughter and May has always taken decisions with a long term view. Its support for eXXpedition is in recognition of its responsibility to contribute to solving long-term challenges facing society and our planet.

Slaughter and May supports the Sustainable Development Goals, RE100, The Science Based Targets Initiative and United Nations Global Compact and the firm uses these as a framework for its responsible business strategy.

Jeff Twentyman, partner at Slaughter and May, said: “We decided to support eXXpedition as it reflects, in what we hope is an imaginative way, our values and aspirations and is a brilliant long-term project to complement our responsible business strategy.

“We are an outward looking, internationally minded collective of diverse individuals who possess significant resources, knowledge and influence to create a substantial and positive impact beyond delivering high end legal advice to clients.

“We hope our support for eXXpedition will contribute to its long-term impact and to its important mission to increase knowledge about the causes and sources of ocean plastic pollution.”

Emily Penn, eXXpedition co-Founder and ocean advocate, said: “eXXpedition is a radical mix of adventure, science, advocacy and action to help understand the nature of a complex problem; the contamination of our bodies and our seas. Each voyage is designed to be a platform for ambassadors to take forward projects tackling plastics and toxics, and raise the profile of the issues to create change at a personal and organisational level, and influence national and international policy makers.

“We hope our journey around the world, taking in four ocean gyres and the Arctic, will contribute to important scientific studies while inspiring action to protect our ocean.  Our partners are key to spreading the word and educating people about what we are doing.”

Notes to Editor

For media queries relating to the eXXpedition voyage and or for other requests such as imagery, please email [email protected]

For further details on eXXpedition, please visit