The state of New York, on December 9, 2020, announced that its pension fund with over $226 billion in assets would divest its oil and gas stocks in companies that, in its view, contribute to global warming. The announcement emphatically highlights how ESG factors (Environmental, Social and Governance) across borders represent business risks but also opportunities for companies, their stockholders, and their other stakeholders. In-house legal departments are the first line of defense to re-orient business operations to address global ESG issues and to identify risks. These challenges, risks and opportunities are creating additional demands on legal departments with constrained resources as they navigate this “New Normal” in addition to their traditional responsibilities to stockholders. This two-day conference will provide in-depth critical analysis through three tracks that efficiently canvas each of the ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’ elements. Through these three tracks, the conference will identify, explore, and evaluate key areas of relevance to in-house counsel wanting to navigate the numerous complex legal and operational issues raised by ESG in jurisdictions around the globe.
FEB 10 — 12:30PM ET
Social Justice and Impact in Corporate Behavior: Companies, their boards and executives are at the forefront of some of the most important social issues of our time and through new influential communication platforms, those issues can easily reach the masses and impact key decision-makers. As the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Report points out, silence on social justice issues is not an option for companies that want to attract or retain employees, clients, and investors. This panel will analyze how corporate social activism and changes in social expectations about corporate behavior have practical consequences in the way companies do business, what in-house counsel need to consider helping their companies avoid being exploitative or as opportunists and how these new means of communication are creating pressure to change laws and make new policies addressing social issues that impact their company’s operations.
• Harold Franklin, Partner and Diversity Chair, King & Spalding, Atlanta, GA
• Mikhail Reider-Gordon, Managing Director of Institutional Ethics & Integrity, Affiliated Monitors, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
• E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., Former General Motors North America Vice President and General Counsel, Frisco, TX
• Francisca Larrain, Chief Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer Andes Market, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Santiago, Chile
• Judge Delissa Ridgway, International Court of Trade, New York, NY