Partner Sarah Fitts was quoted on best practices for attorneys helping to craft environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies. Law firms are fielding more inquiries from their clients’ around ESG activities as investors and competitors raise questions about policies in the wake of the uncertainty about what the Biden administration will require in the future, and as well as current U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules.
"It's one thing to say that a board has approved a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, and then actually proving that," Sarah said. “And as clients move from having aspirational goals to actually implementing commitments, the data has proven to be complex. It’s better to be cautious and safe than risk misinterpreting information and making statements that might not hold up under scrutiny.”
Sarah said that as clients demand more help on ESG issues, it's important that firms know what it takes to deliver good advice. She noted a well-rounded group of attorneys who work in different areas and who have good communication with each other is key.
"It's hard to deliver good ESG advice when firms don't have a well-rounded practice, because ESG is really a 360-degree review — it might be environmental, it might be employment, it might be supply chain," Sarah said. "So you really need to have a group of lawyers who can look at the problem from all directions."
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