The demand for ESG lawyers has jumped this year as both regulators and companies are embracing sustainability as a corporate value. But, as The National Law Journal points out in the feature “Greenwashing Is No Longer Good Enough,” ESG lawyering is more than just compliance and enforcement—it requires a multi-practice outlook. Partner Carl Valenstein says Morgan Lewis’s team is getting “more and more” engagements helping clients think about what they can say from both an SEC disclosure perspective, and to maintain public goodwill. “There are more and more benefits or penalties for failing to measure ESG. Lawyers get involved because when you start making statements—whether it’s in a public filing or a government contract, or claiming a tax credit—there are consequences of getting it wrong,” Carl says.
Partner Kirstin Gibbs emphasizes the Morgan Lewis ESG team’s cross-practice make-up, utilizing the skills of lawyers who traditionally work in oil and gas, retail, manufacturing, and other industries. “When we help our clients to achieve the goals that they’re putting forth, they now need public statements about decarbonization and sustainability,” Kirstin says. “We’re really just trying to make sure they’re not just talking the talk. We help them walk the walk by ensuring they become genuinely renewable.”
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