November 1, 2021

On November 2 at 3:10 pm GMT, Willkie’s London managing partner and head of the Litigation, Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement and White Collar Defense Practice Groups in the Firm’s London office Peter Burrell will co-chair the “Reputational Risks” roundtable at The Economist Group’s 18th Annual General Counsel Summit.

The roundtable will discuss the ways in which a growing focus on environmental, social and governance concerns is leading to increased pressure for businesses to publicly disclose their performance. However, public statements can serve as hooks on which litigation can be brought. Given the speed with which companies need to respond to reputational threats, what is the role of the general counsel in managing the fallout of falling-out with the public?

Other questions to be addressed as part of this discussion include:

  • What steps can and should a general counsel take to monitor and control statements before they go out?
  • Is there a balance to be struck between policies and procedures that focus on meeting the minimum requirements of “the law” and those that uphold the company’s values or mitigate reputational risk?
  • How can companies manage their legal risk and diligence effectively, and what might be the knock-on reputational effects of greater and earlier disclosure of bribery, fraud and violations of sanctions or other regulation? What is the role of the general counsel in managing these risks?
  • How can organizations distance themselves from past mistakes and commit to correcting them for the future without shouldering liability and damaging the company in any follow-on proceedings?

The Annual General Counsel Summit will take place in the Leondardo City Hotel, London.