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Growing ESG Risks: The Rise of Litigation

October 2020

Citation: ELR 10849

Author: David Hackett, Reagan Demas, Douglas Sanders, Jessica Wicha, and Aleesha Fowler

As companies increase their environmental, social, governance (ESG) reporting and statements in response to market and shareholder demands, plaintiffs have pursued with growing success legal challenges to company claims and disclosures related to ESG performance. Similarly, inventive theories are being put forward to directly attack companies for alleged ESG-related performance and operational deficiencies. In both arenas, there has been a recent growth in efforts to hold companies accountable for supplier misconduct. The expanding growing misstatement and performance litigation signals a rising need to carefully manage ESG programs, performance, and statements.

David Hackett is a principal in Baker McKenzie’s Chicago office; previously, he was with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. Reagan Demas is a principal in Baker McKenzie’s Washington, D.C., office, and a member of the firm’s North American Litigation and Government Enforcement Steering Committee. Douglas Sanders is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Chicago office. Jessica Wicha is a counsel in Baker McKenzie’s Chicago office. Aleesha Fowler is an associate in Baker McKenzie’s New York office.

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