This blog from international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer offers interesting perspectives on how the legal function is evolving along with corporate ESG programs. I’ve seen this myself in client and member firms. Freshfields attributes this change to four things:

  • The global increase in ESG/sustainability laws. The firm points out that climate laws and policies now number over 2,000 according to the latest research by the London School of Economics
  • Sustainability litigation. “According to London School of Economics, there are close to 400 climate litigation cases globally, which has led to many companies seeking to understand their exposure to climate litigation risk. For more information on this evolving topic see Freshfields’ in-depth analysis of Legal Risk and Climate Change.”
  • Sustainability now features prominently in M&A transactions. “As companies adjust their strategies to adapt to the new reality, they are also reviewing their business portfolios and acquisition strategies to minimise long-term risk.”
  • Investor interest in corporate governance and disclosures.

Lawyers are having to learn new things and adapt to ESG along with most other corporate functions. Freshfields characterized this change as lawyers no longer being the “‘No’ brigade.”

Finally, today’s blog will be the last one of the week as we take time for Christmas. We’ll be back next week but in the meantime, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, however you celebrate.

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