Elise Groulx (Door Tenant)
Elise Groulx Diggs practices international human rights law and international criminal law, with wide experience advising public and private sector clients. She is also an accredited mediator since 2010 and certified in France (2016) and by IMI (The International Mediation Institute) in The Hague, since January 2017. She created two international NGOs, one which she led for 15 years. She advises corporations on human rights risks in their strategic and big footprint projects and supply chains. Elise is a recognized expert in business and human rights where she has focused amongst others in assessing the legal risks of operating in fragile states and conflict zones. She advises corporations, law firms, organisations and international NGOs in the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom with a focus on the UNGPs, the OECD guidelines for Multinational, the Equator principles and the SDGs.
Elise is a thought leader and a convener of the international legal profession and has been recognized and ranked internationally among the top 10 lawyers in the field of Business and Human Rights (Chambers & Partners Global Guide, London,) 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 and in February 2021 when she was ranked at the very top (Band One) and received the title “Global Market Elite Leader”
background and expertise
For the past seven years Elise was an Associate Tenant at Doughty Street Chambers in London. She is a member the Paris Bar and is Of Counsel at Alkine et Associés, a French law in Paris. She is “Of Counsel” at Fall Legal in Dakar, Senegal. And to Endo et Associés, in Montréal Québec (Canada). She is also Principal of the international consulting group, BI for Business Integrity & Partners LLC, based in Washington. D.C. (USA).
Elise offers legal advisory and training services to corporations, corporate lawyers, international organisations, and sustainability experts in conducting human rights due diligence, human rights impact assessment and social risk assessments. She is an expert at coaching business, financial institutions and other relevant actors assessing their legal exposures related to business operations and supply chains in conflict-affected areas. She has advised multinational corporations and a variety of clients on a wide range of issues including: due diligence assessments for investments in conflict-prone countries; business complicity in war crimes; corporate criminal liability; inclusive governance and stakeholders and remediation programs for victims of grave human rights violations occurring near mining and big footprint projects.
Elise is currently involved in an international multi-stakeholder’s mediation between workers and employers in South East Asia to resolve dispute around freedom of association, working conditions, unpaid wages and severance package.
Recently, Elise served as mediator in a complex dispute involving workers laid off during the COVID pandemic in a southeast Asian country, their plant management, a Chinese parent corporation, a branded multinational in the EU and an international labour union. Elise's current mediation mandate came to a successful resolution. This complex dispute tested the limits of traditional commercial and labour-management dispute resolution, raising sensitive issues of equity, due process and respect for human rights. This challenging and complex dispute tested Elise to employ methods acquired in years of practice in the field of criminal justice as well as her knowledge and experience in the field of Access to Remedy for victims of alleged human rights abuse. This of course is a key pillar of the both of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the NCP processes of the OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct.
- French: Native
- English: Fully bilingual spoken and written English
- Spanish: Working proficiency
Current Professional Activities
- Convenor, Advisory Board of the Business and Human Rights Project, American Bar Association (ABA) Washington DC
- Chair of the IBA Committee on Business and Human Rights (London)
- Founding Member of a think tank on issues of security and development Cercle K2 (2014) in Paris, France
- She helped launched a new initiative in the field of Business and Human Rights, the development of an Access to Remedy Institute (ARI), to address human rights and environmental harms from business activities. This new initiative is fostered by the ABA Center for Human Rights.