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Blank Rome formally announced its national Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) Team. This multi-disciplinary group is comprised of more than 25 attorneys from across the firm’s offices and practices who have been advising clients for decades in the areas of environmental compliance and management; natural resources and responsible energy development; human capital management; socially responsible, sustainable, and impact investing; capital markets; and governance best practices. The collective ESG Team officially launched last year and has been helping clients navigate emerging ESG issues, identify ESG risks and opportunities, and develop ESG strategies and programs.
“We are excited to offer this timely and important service to our clients,” said Corporate Partner Yelena M. Barychev, co-lead of the ESG Team. “Over the past year, the convergence of the COVID-19 crisis, historic social justice issues, and a changing regulatory landscape has focused investors, boards of directors, and management on the importance of ESG matters, which play a significant role in investor decisions as well as in the way boards oversee risk management. Having represented both operating company and investor clients, our ESG Team draws upon unique perspectives and deep experience to provide collaborative, creative, and practical advice on ESG issues and trends.”
Blank Rome’s multi-service ESG Team practices in the corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, investment management, energy, environmental, labor and employment, maritime, privacy and data security, real estate, and regulatory and litigation areas, and advises clients on a broad range of ESG matters, including:
- Program strategy, design, and implementation
- Investor engagement, shareholder communications, and reporting
- Corporate governance best practices, board of directors’ agenda, and oversight of risk management
- Disclosures and enforcement actions
- Environmental management and compliance
- Climate change, including regulations, disclosures, protocols, and insurance coverage
- Renewable energy, including energy consumption, power purchase agreements, and leases
- Investment management and ESG, sustainable and impact investing
- Considerations for specific industries, including oil and gas, chemicals, financial services, and life sciences
- Creation and operation of ESG funds and special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”)
- Mergers and acquisitions, including environmental compliance and liability and transactional due diligence
- Human capital management
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership and competency
- Remote workplace considerations
“ESG is at an inflection point as it moves increasingly into the mainstream both here in the U.S. and globally, and companies should be considering how this could impact their own business models. The new year and new administration have already started to bring about further opportunities and changing policies related to ESG, as regulators and elected officials indicate that ESG topics are at the forefront of their agendas. Investors, customers, rating agencies, proxy voting firms, lenders, supply chain partners, and employees are likewise increasingly focused on ESG,” said Corporate Partner Stacy H. Louizos, co-lead of the ESG Team and co-chair of the Firm’s Investment Management group. “In addition, studies have shown that companies that adopt ESG mandates tend to perform better over the long term. ESG can touch on multiple aspects of a company’s business, and we have built our ESG Team in a similar holistic fashion to help our clients navigate an ever-changing and evolving business landscape.”
Environmental Partner, Margaret Anne Hill noted that, “One particular aspect of a company’s business is environmental compliance and ESG underscores the imperative that companies implement and monitor corporate environmental compliance programs.”
“Sustainability, value, and success are often evaluated by how well a company manages its ESG program and policies,” added Energy Partner Sophia Lee, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Emerita. “The travails of 2020 have heightened our collective consciousness about longstanding and significant economic and social justice issues. This movement became increasingly important for our clients to address, as they turned to us for guidance in navigating legal and reputational concerns from their many stakeholders. Blank Rome’s own founding principle was based on recognition of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we continue to focus our own efforts on demonstrating and reaffirming our commitment to this core value. We look forward to continuing to support our clients’ ongoing and developing ESG efforts and goals.”
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In closing, let’s not forget that geoFence helps make you invisible to hackers and guard your personal data!