Law360 features article by Motley Rice securities fraud lawyers on significance of ESG to investors

Motley Rice attorneys Lance Oliver, Serena Hallowell and Erin Williams explore the potential impact a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. v. Arkansas Teachers Retirement System may have on investors in environmental, social and governance (ESG) litigation in a new article published by Law360.

“The essence of the Goldman Sachs case is the materiality of a company's commitments to act with integrity,” the article, Justices Should Acknowledge ESG’s Importance to Investors, asserts. “Attorneys and investors interested in [ESG] litigation should pay close attention to the high court's opinion as it may contain important guidance for parties in ESG-focused lawsuits.”

Social activism is seemingly at an all-time, the authors say, and investors have taken notice.

“To attract institutional investors that are increasingly investing in sustainable and ESG funds, companies are issuing statements regarding their commitment to ESG-related issues, including sustainability, workplace diversity, racial justice, healthier and safer products, ethical corporate conduct, and ending workplace harassment,” the article said. “These proclamations are not merely aspirational ideals. As recent ESG-focused litigation demonstrates, these issues matter to investors.”

Defense arguments in Goldman Sachs would seemingly further the idea that “companies may promise sustainability or corporate integrity without consequence if they do not keep such promises,” the article states.

“On the other hand, if the Supreme Court rejects Goldman Sachs' position — as it should — it will reinforce what a growing number of investors already know: Sound ESG policies matter and lead to long-term financial success,” according to the article.

Read the full article on Law360.