July 22, 2014

Inside Business Law (July 2014)

Audio Recordings of Substantive Committee Presentations

At the Spring Meeting of the Business Law Section in Los Angeles, California, the Section kicked off a pilot program to audio record select Committee events. This is the first time that substantive non-CLE presentations have been captured.

The Corporate Governance Committee provides two substantive presentations. The first, which is a presentation by the Shareholder and Investor Relations Subcommittee, is titled “Effective Shareholder Engagement – Tactics, Techniques, and Technology.” 

The presentation is chaired and moderated by Frank M. Placenti and the speakers include Debbie DePaoli, Joele Frank, Abe M. Friedman, Holly J. Gregory, Chad L. Norton, and Jay Winship. Institutional investors control the vast majority of shares for most US public companies. Effective engagement with these investors is essential to securing their support for corporate programs, management compensation, and to avert the effects of the ill-advised activism. This panel of experts discuss methods for effectively engaging with institutional shareholders – both those who have their own proxy voting policies as well as those that rely on proxy advisors. 

The Corporate Counsel Perspectives Subcommittee of the Corporate Governance Committee presents a presentation titled “Hot Corporate Governance Issues Facing General Counsel for 2014.” This panel discusses key corporate governance challenges uniquely facing general counsel in 2014 including shareholder activism, cyber-security risk disclosure, executive compensation under Dodd Frank, potential SEC regulation of proxy advising firms, exclusive forum bylaws, and compliance training in process. 

In another installment in the Leadership Development Committee’s series on “Becoming A Leader,” Barbara Mayden, former chair of the Section, Maury Poscover, former chair of the Section, and Pat Clendenen, current chair of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee, each share their story on how they became active and leaders in the Business Law Section. 

The Project Finance and Development Committee presents a program titled “Breaking News: Latest Trends in Renewable Energy Projects.” This panel of experts in the field of project finance and renewable energy projects discuss latest trends and issues over the broad spectrum of activities involved in acquiring, developing, and financing a project. The moderator is Lewis T. Smith, and speakers include Evelyn Lim, Alison Manzer, and Elizabeth Sluder. 

The Business Law Competencies Task Force of the Business Law Education Committee presents a program titled “Defining the Competencies of the Business Lawyer.” Many have attempted to define competencies required of a lawyer. But little effort has been made to identify specific attributes of a successful business associate. This panel of experts lead a discussion of how competencies are defined, why such definitions are valuable, and who is best able to undertake a project. The moderator of the panel is Christyne Vachon, and the speakers include Bryant Garth, Ellen Rosenthal, and Michael Woronoff. 

The Federal Regulation of Securities Committee provides a recording of a program titled “Dialogue with the SEC Director of Corporation Finance.” The SEC’s director of Division of Corporate Finance, Keith F. Higgins, provides remarks. 

The Federal Regulation of Securities Committee provides a recording of remarks by Hon. Joseph A. Grundfest at its annual luncheon.