Inside Counsel Think Tank on Corporate Sustainability

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The evolution of corporate purpose from short-term profit maximization to long-term sustainability means that inside counsel must not only manage legal risk, but also navigate environmental, social, and governance issues that pose ethical and reputational risks.

Inspired by this change in the role of inside counsel, the Business in Society Institute convenes an annual “General Counsel Think Tank” to discuss and present research on emerging sustainability issues and trends.

Berkeley Law has continued its collaboration with Linklaters and the United Nations Global Compact to build upon The Guide for General Counsel on Corporate Sustainability. Berkeley Law faculty and student fellows have worked with Linklaters attorneys and inside counsel to draft chapters offering practical and in-depth guidance on the topics below for publication in The Guide for General Counsel on Corporate Sustainability v. 2.0, culminating in a Think Tank with the intention of eliciting and incorporating the key insights of general counsel into the final publication. The Think Tank also provided an ongoing forum for general counsel to discuss sustainability challenges and opportunities.


We facilitated highly interactive modules on the following six topics, which culminated in chapters of the Guide for General Counsel on Corporate Sustainability 2.0:

  1. Business integrity: What can businesses do to promote a secure and sustainable environment in which they can operate with integrity on a long-term basis?
  2. ESG and fiduciary duties: How are ESG factors relevant to fiduciary duties, and what practical tips should duty holders take into account when making key business decisions?
  3. Corporations in Crisis: What is the role of inside counsel in navigating reputational risk and addressing consumer demands to engage on social issues, from guns to immigration?
  4. Human rights in M&A: How can human rights risks and impacts be effectively identified, mitigated, and managed in the context of mergers and acquisitions?
  5. Supply chain: What tools can businesses use to effectively identify and mitigate sustainability risks in their global supply chains in a way that is both technically and financially feasible?
  6. Access to justice: What can businesses do to ensure access to justice and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions that will enable an environment where businesses and societies can sustainably flourish?

Program Details


General counsel, associate general counsel, Berkeley Law faculty and fellows, and Linklaters partners


A small annual symposium of general counsel (30 participants) to discuss emerging trends in corporate sustainability 


November 7 from 8:30am to 5:45pm – Think Tank 

November 7 from 5:45pm to 8:30om – Dinner


The Women’s Faculty Club, UC Berkeley, California


To create a community of general counsel who are thought leaders in sustainability and ESG and to incorporate this community’s expertise in the final publication of the Guide for General Counsel on Corporate Sustainability 2.0


Participation is by invitation only, for more information please email