It’s been a year since the Business Roundtable redefined the role of a corporation to focus on the well-being of employees and communities rather than simply short-term shareholder profits. Since then, some law firms have responded with their own units aimed at advising clients on environmental, social and corporate governance.
Leaders of these firm practices say there is plenty of demand to keep them busy now. They insist that the shift in corporations’ focus is sincere and that CEOs and corporate boards are in need of novel advice on questions that range from the legal foundations of weighing obligations to other stakeholders to expanding the scope of due diligence in transactions.
And the concern about the societal impact of business decisions has only become more pressing as the U.S. battles the coronavirus crisis while facing a belated reckoning over the country’s legacy of racism and inequality.
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