Excellent team-player, very strong intellect. Paul is fantastic with clients. - The Legal 500

Paul is a partner in the Bay Area office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and a member of the Firm’s ESG & Impact Practice Group, which advises some of the world’s most sophisticated private equity firms, corporations, and project sponsors and lenders on complex and evolving ESG issues.

Paul is an experienced deal counsel and international litigator. He has a particular focus on climate change law and policy, which intersects regulatory, transactional and litigation practice. Complementing this work, Paul is an adjunct at Columbia University in New York, where he teaches a class on business and climate change.

Paul counsels clients in the U.S. and worldwide on a wide range of matters under domestic law and international law, including:

  • Carbon Markets — Compliance, voluntary, and Article 6 carbon markets; carbon credit transactions and investment funds; establishment of carbon platforms.
  • Climate/Transition Investing — Fund formation (PE, credit, infrastructure); strategy and operational best practices (oversight, metrics, data gathering systems, reporting).
  • Disclosure/Regulation — Voluntary frameworks and standards; public company and private funds ESG regulation.
  • Litigation/Investigations — ESG-related disputes including litigation/arbitration, enforcement, government investigations, and investor-State disputes (ISDS).
  • Net Zero Transition — Legal risk relating to net zero/energy transition strategy or investments, including GHG emissions reductions and science-based targets.
  • Sustainable Finance  Financing frameworks and products including sustainability-linked loans (negotiating key performance indicators, sustainability performance targets); credit funds.

Prior to joining the Firm, Paul practiced as a barrister from a prominent London chambers, focusing on energy, finance, and foreign investment. He was ranked as a leading barrister for international law and international arbitration by The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal, which describes Paul as “an exceptionally gifted and skilled lawyer” with “a brilliant strategic mind.”

Select Representative Clients

Blackstone, Carlyle, Generate Capital, KKR Credit, Rubicon Carbon, TPG, Vista Equity Partners


Thought Leadership

Representative Publications and Speaking Engagements

Speaker, “Finding Opportunities & Avoiding Risk in Rough Seas,” Big Path Capital Impact Capitalism Summit, July 19, 2023

Author, “ISSB Releases Final Global Sustainability Disclosure Standards,” Kirkland Alert, June 29, 2023

Author, “EU Climate Action: Imminent Introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism,” Kirkland Alert, May 1, 2023

Author, “California Climate Disclosure Bills Would Have Far-Reaching Implications for Companies Doing Business in the State,” Kirkland Alert, April 14, 2023

Author, “Voluntary Carbon Market Standard-Setter Issues ‘Core Carbon Principles,’” Kirkland Alert, April 6, 2023

Speaker, “Webinar: Corporate Counsel Symposium: ESG for In-House Lawyers,” New York City Bar Association, March 31, 2023

Speaker, “Webinar: ESG Can’t Wait: Get Ahead of Final SEC Climate Reporting Rules,” Moderne Ventures, March 23, 2023

Author, “UN Conference Signals Swell in Private Sector’s Green Efforts,” Law360, January 31, 2023

Author, “U.N. Biodiversity Conference Signals Growing Emphasis on Private Sector Action on Nature Conservation and Restoration in 2023,” Kirkland Alert, January 19, 2023

Author, “COP27 Highlights Climate Opportunities and Risks for the Private Sector,” Kirkland Alert, December 7, 2022

Speaker, “Voluntary Carbon Markets,” Stanford Law School’s Virtual Conference, October 25, 2022

Speaker, “2022 U.S. DOE Energy Storage Financing,” U.S. DOE, October 20, 2022

Featured, “Hsu Untied: Paul Barker, Partner at Kirkland & Ellis,” Hsu Untied Podcast, October 5, 2022

Speaker, “Emerging ESG Trends in Private Credit,” Private Debt Investor New York Forum 2022, September 21, 2022

Speaker, “Avoiding Greenwashing: Global Trends and Practical Steps,” Responsible Investment Forum: San Francisco, September 15, 2022

Speaker, “Heating Up: Climate Risk Oversight and Disclosure,” Diligent Modern Governance Summit, September 12, 2022

Speaker, “Voluntary Carbon Markets & International Dispute Resolution,” International Bar Association, July 14, 2022

Author, “The Major Questions Doctrine Reigns Supreme in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency — Implications for Climate Policy and Impact Investing,” Kirkland Alert, July 6, 2022

Quoted, "The ESG report – Overview: Turning on a greenback," Legal Business, June 28, 2022

Author, “The Major Questions Doctrine Reigns Supreme in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency — Implications for Climate Policy and Impact Investing,” Kirkland Alert, July 6, 2022

Speaker, "Greenwashing Regulation and Litigation," 2022 Leadership Summit for Women in Energy & Infrastructure, May 3, 2022

Speaker, "U.S. DOE Energy Storage Financing For Social Equity Summit," Kirkland Seminar, April 13, 2022 

Author, "SEC Proposes New Climate Disclosure Requirements," Kirkland Alert, March 24, 2022 

Author, "Directors and Executives Position Themselves to Lead on Climate," Energy & Infrastructure Blog, March 16, 2022 

Speaker, “Climate Litigation,” Diligent Climate Leadership Certificate Program, January 18, 2022

Speaker, “Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): An Overview in the Context of Governance and Oversight,” Diligent Climate Leadership Certificate Program, January 14, 2022

Author, “COP26 and the Role of Private Capital,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, December 21, 2021

Author, “TCFD Issues New Guidance as Its Climate Reporting Framework Continues to Gain Traction,” Kirkland Alert, November 10, 2021

Author, “Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization: State Provision to Promote Local Employment in Decarbonization Policies,” Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, 2021

Panelist, “Business, Human Rights, and the Environment,” Business and Human Rights Practitioners Network, London, October 2021

Panelist, “Climate Change and International Disputes,” Public International Law Webinar Series, London/Singapore/Sydney, October 2021

Speaker, “Climate Change, the Net Zero Energy Transition, and International Investment Law,” 2021/22 Investment Law and Investor-State Mediator Training, ICSID (World Bank), Hong Kong, October 2021

Panelist, “Net Zero Lawyers Alliance: Converting Net Zero Ambitions into Net Zero Obligations,” London Climate Action Week: Road to COP26/Glasgow, London, July 2021

Author, “Sustainable Investment, Deep Decarbonization, and Investor-State Dispute Settlement: The Failure to Align The Investment Treaty System With Climate Change Law & Policy?”, Gould Center for Conflict Resolution, Stanford Law School, May 10, 2021


UK Bar, Public International Law, The Legal 500

UK Bar, Who’s Who Legal

Arbitration, Who’s Who Legal

Memberships & Affiliations

Research Fellow, Gould Center, Stanford Law School

Visiting Fellow, Lauterpacht Center for International Law, Cambridge University


Admissions & Qualifications

  • California
  • New York
  • Admitted to the Bar of England and Wales, Middle Temple


  • Columbia Law SchoolLL.M.
    James Kent Scholar
  • Emmanuel College, University of CambridgeB.A., Law