SPECIAL FEATURE: The Coming Impact of ESG

Recent months have seen institutional investors and other stakeholders, notably BlackRock and State Street, stressing the importance of comparable and decision-useful ESG disclosures by their portfolio companies.  Such calls follow in the wake of growing interest among investors and other stakeholders in understanding and assessing the performance of companies based on ESG metrics.  While the exact system by which companies will report on ESG issues remains to be determined by the market, it is clear that beginning in 2020, and in the years to follow, companies will be disclosing significant amounts of quantifiable information on a basis that will permit comparisons within and across industries.  This information will be used by companies, investors, asset managers and other stakeholders in real-world business decisions and contexts of all sorts, including relating to M&A, litigation, compensation, public disclosure, competition and antitrust, capital structure and credit markets, and taxation.

The series of memos linked below, recently published by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, touches on many of these critical implications of the growing ESG movement for companies, their boards of directors and management, and all stakeholders.  The memos also examine the growing global push, particularly by major asset managers, and more recently, the World Economic Forum, for standardized ESG reporting metrics and highlight considerations for companies looking to disclose ESG performance.

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CANADIAN UPDATE – Top Competition and Foreign Investment Review Trends and Issues for 2020

*This article was originally distributed on January 21, 2020 In our annual forecast of the year ahead for Canadian competition and foreign investment review law, we evaluate how developments in 2019 will influence these areas of the law in 2020. We discuss below the main issues and trends to watch for this year. Continued Focus … Continued

Editors’ Note: This article was co-authored by John Bodrug, Anita Banicevic and Jim Dinning, partners at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Toronto).


U.S. UPDATE – 2020 Checklist for Successful Acquisitions in the United States

Cross-Border M&A – 2020 Checklist for Successful Acquisitions in the United States M&A continued its robust pace in 2019, with nearly $3.9 trillion in global deal volume for the year, the third-highest volume of the last decade.  The U.S. market was particularly strong, making up for relative weakness in Europe and Asia.  The boom was … Continued

Editors’ Note: This submission updates a checklist co-authored by Messrs. Emmerich and Panovka, members of XBMA’s Legal Roundtable, with their colleagues at Wachtell Lipton, Jodi J. Schwartz, Scott K. Charles, David A. Katz, Andrew J. Nussbaum, Ilene Knable Gotts, Mark Gordon, Joshua R. Cammaker, William Savitt, Andrea K. Wahlquist, Karessa L. Cain, T. Eiko Stange, Joshua M. Holmes, Eric M. Rosof, Gordon S. Moodie, Emil A. Kleinhaus, Edward J. Lee, Raaj S. Narayan, Amy R. Wolf and Matthew T. Carpenter.


CHINESE UPDATE – Foreign Investment in China has entered into the Fast Track – Interpretation of the New Implementing Regulations of the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”)

On December 31, 2019, the Implementing Regulations of the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Regulation”), an important administrative regulation facilitating the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China (“Foreign Investment Law”), was officially published. It came into force on January 1, 2020, together with the … Continued

Editors' Note: This article was authored by Mr. Zheng Yu, a partner at JunHe. Mr. Zheng has broad experience advising multinational companies on their business and investment projects in China, including complex foreign direct investments, cross-border M&A, dispute resolution (arbitration and litigation), corporate compliance, employment issues and tourism real estate projects in China.  Liao Yueyue (Counsel), Yu Daxing (Associate), Jia Lu (Associate) and Wang Xiao (Associate) also contributed to the article.


DUTCH UPDATE: Crystal Ball Gazing 2020

Crystal Ball Gazing 2020 2020 introduces a new decade, one which already promises to be an exciting one for the legal sector and society in general.  In this special newsletter, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek gazes into the crystal ball and highlights some of the more important trends and developments which could very well affect or … Continued

This newsletter was co-authored by Marnix Leijten (Managing Partner), Anja Mutsaers (Partner) and Dorothee van Vredenburch (Executive Partner) at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.


ESG UPDATE – Accelerating ESG Disclosure—WEF Task Force Releases Preliminary Framework Centered on Mainstream Reporting Aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals

Accelerating ESG Disclosure— WEF Task Force Releases Preliminary Framework Centered on Mainstream Reporting Aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals Reflecting the growing push among investors, asset managers, companies and other stakeholders for a standardized ESG disclosure framework, a task force sponsored by the International Business Council (IBC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has released … Continued

This article was co-authored by David M. Silk, Sabastian V. Niles and Carmen X.W. Lu of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.


SINGAPOREAN UPDATE – Key Trends for 2020

*This article was originally distributed on January 23, 2020 Dear Clients and Friends, 新年快乐! We wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous year ahead! We ring in 2020 on a more positive note than where we started 2019. In the past year, a slowdown in manufacturing has weighed on economic growth both globally and in … Continued

Editors’ Note: This article was authored by Jerry Koh (Joint Managing Partner) at Allen & Gledhill LLP.


CANADIAN UPDATE – Canadian Foreign Investment Review Annual Report Confirms Shift in Emphasis Toward National Security Concerns

The official Annual Report under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) for the fiscal year 2018-19 was released at the end of 2019. This document sets out various statistics and other noteworthy developments during that time frame (i.e., April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019) relating to the two review processes under the ICA: the “net … Continued

Editors’ Note: This article was co-authored by Mark C. Katz, Charles Tingley and Anita Banicevic, partners at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP.


DANISH UPDATE – Nasdaq Copenhagen introduces 90% majority requirement for de-listings

On 7 January 2020 Nasdaq Copenhagen announced an update to its issuer rules, introducing a requirement that a request for de-listing by an issuer of shares must be approved by 90% of the votes cast and share capital represented at a general meeting of the issuer in question. The new rules constitute a significant change … Continued

Editors’ Note: This article was co-authored by Dan Moalem (Partner) and Henning Hedegaard Thomsen (Senior Associate) at Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen.



Executive Summary/Highlights Global M&A volume approached US$3.9 trillion in 2019, the third highest annual total in the last decade, despite increasing global economic and political headwinds. Strong economic growth, low interest rates, record amounts of private equity dry powder and the availability of corporate cash fueled global M&A in 2019. The boom was strongest in … Continued

Editors' Note: The XBMA Review is published on a quarterly basis in order to facilitate a deeper understanding of trends and developments. In order to facilitate meaningful comparisons, the XBMA Review has utilized generally consistent metrics and sources of data since inception. We welcome feedback and suggestions for improving the XBMA Review or for interpreting the data.


DUTCH UPDATE: Dutch Supreme Court Orders Government to Achieve 25% Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On December 20, 2019 the highest court of the Netherlands upheld an earlier decision by a lower court that insufficient action to address climate change posed a “risk of irreversible changes to the worldwide ecosystems and liveability of our planet” and a “serious risk that the current generation of citizens will be confronted with loss … Continued

Editors’ Note: This article was co-authored by Leo Groothuis and Freerk Vermeulen, partners at NautaDutilh.


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