Radek Stech, CEO
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Radek Stech (PhD) is the founder and CEO of the Global Principles for Sustainable Securities Lending Community Interest Company (Global PSSL). In performing his duties, he is accountable to The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies.
He formed Global PSSL with the help of significant independent funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through the Sustainable Finance – Law – Stakeholders (SFLS) Network at the University of Exeter Law School. This funding was awarded thanks to Radek’s earlier engagement with stakeholders in shaping values-based banking, green bonds and sustainable project finance as well as continuous contact, research and discussions with staff from the World Bank (an official partner on the grant).
Radek has more than 16 years of solid research, consultancy and advisory experience in sustainable finance, banking and environmental law. He has developed Global PSSL with the cooperation of Aberdeen Standard Investments (now Abrdn), BlackRock, KBC Asset Management NV, NN Investment Partners (now Goldman Sachs Asset Management), PGGM and Aviva Investors since 2018. In 2019/20, Radek co-founded the International Securities Lending Association (ISLA) Council for Sustainable Finance (ICSF) with the aforementioned institutional investors. Despite the Pandemic, and subsequent economic turbulence, Dr Stech grew ICSF membership (including Norges Bank Investment Management) and forged strong partnerships around the world (e.g. with BNY Mellon, eSecLending, J.P. Morgan and State Street upon their request).
In 2020, he founded the Global PSSL CIC which enables committed stakeholders to take leadership roles to improve securities lending. Radek understands that sustainable securities lending and borrowing will play an essential role in the success of the Global Sustainable Finance Market, and has founded the ‘Global PSSL for UN Pathways’ project to help realise this agenda.
Previously, Radek contributed to improving the UK environmental justice system with his report, “Costs barriers to environmental justice”, launched in the House of Lords and referred to the UN Economic Commission for Europe. He worked with the Welsh Government on the first UK sustainability legislation as a senior analyst (later with WWF UK) and has collaborated with the US Chamber of Commerce and international law firms on matters related to global business competitiveness.
He has held fellowships at the George Washington University Law School, the World Bank Group, and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). Alongside governors of central banks, and other thought leaders, he is a member of The Bretton Woods Committee.
Radek is an impact driven senior academic at Exeter Law School and Exeter Business School where he teaches international banking law, finance law, Fintech and environmental law.
Called to the Bar in 1994, Fiona Darroch is a practising member of the UK Bar. She practises from Normanton Chambers, specialising in civil and environmental law. In 2001, she, together with a small number of like-minded lawyers, founded Protimos. Fiona chairs the Protimos Foundation Board, in London, which implements the work of the organisation. Fiona is also a Director of the Protimos Africa Trust based in South Africa.
As Director of Law at Protimos, Fiona works on legal issues affecting indigenous communities in emerging economies, including resource rights, involuntary re-settlement, intellectual property rights in Biodiversity, and land rights. Fiona plays a central role in the growth of the international legal organisation, developing branches in New York, South Africa and Lesotho. There are firm plans in place to create Protimos legal hubs in Zimbabwe and Sudan.
International Professional Experience
2010 – Present
Protimos Director of Law; leading and growing the global Protimos team, her role includes:
- Oversight and development of the legal strategy for Protimos’ three core programmes: Community Legal Empowerment, Judicial Action Group and the Green Light Programme.
- Development of relationships with Protimos client communities, corporate actors, experts and academics in the field, developing Protimos’ legal strategy.
- Supporting the development arm of the organisation with oversight and input into key fundraising applications
- Consulting and advising corporations with investment in Africa on the legal landscape and doctrine of Free Prior Informed Consent
- Chair of the Protimos Foundation in the UK
- Director of the Protimos Africa Trust
2009: As Founder of Protimos, Fiona was invited to join the Clinton Global Initiative. Protimos made two commitments to President Clinton:
- to form the Judicial Advisory Group (JAG), a peer led resource for judges in across Africa, providing them with an arena for judicial leadership on complex legal issues, through topic focussed meetings, and the use of a secure virtual platform.
- to create the Green Light Programme (GLP), which comprises the development of a set of monitored and certified protocols, providing a predictable framework of equitable engagement in resource management for corporations and communities alike.
2008: Under her leadership, Protimos successfully worked with RSPB and Fauna and Flora International, on a set of human and environmental rights issues arising within the Tana Delta in Kenya, where a number of companies sought to evict communities to make way for bio-fuel and sugar plantations.
2006: Baghdad and Irbil, working with emerging civil society organisations seeking to eradicate post conflict corruption from Iraqi society. This work involved a review of the Iraqi Civil Code which had previously been used across the country, and an analysis of the challenges faced by the emerging post-conflict CSO communities in Iraq.
2001: Founded Protimos, with the specific intent of providing development lawyers to assist impoverished and marginalised communities in their dealings with both governments and corporations. In 2002, Fiona led a four person Protimos team to the Conference on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, where she took part in the Biowatch conference on IPRs in Biodiversity.
2001: Instructed by FIELD, Fiona attended and presented at a UNEP conference led by the African Centre for Technology Studies, in Nairobi.
1999: Instructed by the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) to investigate the abuse of human rights and corruption associated with the construction of the Ilisu Dam. Fiona made numerous field trips to South East Turkey to work with Kurdish communities on human rights issues, and, with Richard Gordon QC, produced an amicus brief which ensured that UK export credit guarantees would only be provided where human rights protection in the region was regarded as being adequate.
1999: She was instructed by the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) to design an Intellectual Property Rights programme for the South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme. It was the absence of any IPR legal protection for community biodiverse resources in that part of the world which generated her concept of Protimos, an ancient Greek word which means honouring value.
1998: Jointly instructed with James Cameron, then Director of FIELD, (Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development), they submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the World Wide Fund, to the WTO Dispute Resolution Panel, concerning the GATT rules applicable to the US precipitate ban on importation of shrimp to the USA, where fishing practices did not include a turtle excluder device (TED). Subsequently, amicus briefs became admissible, in principle, in WTO proceedings.
A qualified mediator specialising in environmental and nuisance-based disputes, Fiona is a member of BIMA (Belief in Mediation and Arbitration).
- Until 2019, Fiona served for 7 years as a Trustee of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA). Her responsibilities included the development of UKELA’s new Strategic Plan and fundraising/ development for the Trust.
- She is a Trustee/ Elder of the United Reformed Church.
- Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA)
- United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA)
- Bar European Group (BEG)
- Environmental Law Foundation (ELF)
- ‘Dams Displacement, and Communal Compensation: A Lesotho Highlands Legal Case’, The University of Botswana Law Journal, 2020 [submitted, publication pending]
- Strengthening environmental reviews in urban development: Urban Legal Case Studies: Volume 6, 2018
- The ‘Landgrab’: risks, consequences and the way forward: Africa Land Grab Conference 2014, pub 2015
- Mitigating the Resource Curse through Legal Empowerment: MIT Innovations Journal 2012, Vol 7, Issue 1
- Her Majesty’s Commissioners for Revenue and Customs -v- Mills  EWHC 2241 (Ch)
- Thoburn -v- City of Sunderland  4 All ER 156 (“Metric Martyrs” case, metrication directives, “constitutional statutes”)
- R -v- Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport & the Regions, ex p Helen Mary Anscomb. QBD (Admin) (Turner J) 7/2/2001
- Davies -v- Ilieff Ch D (Bernard Livesey QC) 21/12/2000
- UK Waste Management Ltd -v- (1) Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport & the Regions (2) Lancashire County Council. QBD (Crown Office List) (Judge Rich QC) 21/9/1999
Fiona holds a Masters in Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, where she specialised in international economic law and natural resources. She also holds a Bachelor’s in History from Kings College, London.
Global PSSL Secretary and Executive Assistant
Senior Project Support Advisor