Posts

DLA Piper published global report on sustainability

DLA Piper has today published a comprehensive global report on sustainability and the implications on the insurance industry. The report looks at sustainability-related initiatives and frameworks around the world and analyses the current status in 19 countries. With its global reach and coverage the report is the first of its kind setting out the legal basis for sustainable insurance.

The insurance industry is affected by environmental, social and governmental (ESG) risks in its entirety. From asset prices and investment choice to business transition risk; the ESG risk to insurers’ own operations including property, personnel. supply chains and claims – the insurance industry will need to deal with many issues. However, it is also uniquely placed to play a fundamental role in as part of the solution. Insurance engages with almost every industry and sector; it owns a large amount of the world’s assets and it has a global reach and a finely detailed knowledge of risk transfer and solutions.

The report was launched at an online event attended by industry members from a variety of functions (including compliance, responsible business, claims and risk management) at insurance companies, brokers and consultancy firms with speakers from UNEP FI, AIG, Insurance Council of New Zealand and FTI Consulting. During the session a survey was conducted which found that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic 69% of attendees had experienced an increase of the importance of ESG issues due to public attention and policymaker statements. This has been reinforced by increasing focus on ESG topics from employees (57%) and customers (31%) and 38% of attendees noticed a marked increase in their competitors’ activities in this area. Within insurance companies the areas most affected by ESG issues were Investment (71%) and Risk Management (64%) departments.

Download a full copy of the report

Jennifer Waldner Grant, Chief Sustainability Officer at AIG, who provided an editorial to the report, said: “We applaud the commitment DLA Piper has made through the publication of this report. It will ensure the insurance industry is informed and educated around the changing regulatory landscape on ESG topics, global coalitions, partnerships and initiatives supporting businesses, regulators and society in addressing the climate emergency.”

DLA Piper Counsel and Chief Editor of the report, Heike Schmitz said: “DLA Piper has a particular focus on sustainability issues, both as a firm and supporting our clients in this hugely important area. This report is our contribution to the debate, focused on the insurance market, and aims to provide an overview of current developments and thus support decision makers, inhouse counsel, sustainability officers and others as they develop their sustainability strategies.”

DLA Piper announces launch of Compliance Atlas app

DLA Piper is pleased to announce the launch of the Compliance Atlas app, a mobile solution built to meet the policy needs of modern-day companies.

Often, policies and related documents are difficult to find on the intranet or are not accessible for field-based employees. After DLA Piper generates these policies and documents at a client’s request, the Compliance Atlas version of the documents delivered to the client allows it to aggregate them into a single application that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Links throughout the Compliance Atlas integrate with other elements of the company intranet, directing employees to additional resources, such as to the compliance hotline for reporting potential violations.

“The Compliance Atlas provides practical advice in a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate format, enabling employees to access crucial company documents in a matter of moments and prevent compliance breaches. Everything from the logo to the colour scheme is fully editable from a dashboard within the app, so clients can customise the look and feel to best suit their needs,” said Daniel Garen, a partner in DLA Piper’s Litigation and Regulatory practice who spearheaded the creation of the app. “This product is especially ideal for highly regulated, high-risk industry clients in sectors like healthcare, life sciences, telecom, energy and financial services.”

Once delivered, the Compliance Atlas is fully editable and owned by the client. The interface is very similar to industry-standard word processing applications, and users may edit the content without contacting DLA Piper. However, if a client chooses to create an entirely new section or to make substantial edits, firm lawyers are available to assist and provide legal advice related to such changes.

DLA Piper’s Global Governance and Compliance group has unparalleled experience helping clients with international operations meet the evolving – and sometimes conflicting – expectations of regulatory and enforcement agencies. With compliance-focused lawyers in more than 75 offices around the world, DLA Piper has the global breadth, local knowledge and industry experience to guide clients in all aspects of designing, implementing and managing compliance programs, assessing and mitigating risk, remediating compliance issues and running internal investigations.

DLA Piper announces release of Something to Report film

DLA Piper is pleased to announce the release of Something to Report, the third film in the firm’s award-winning Compliance series.

Something to Report is a 45-minute fictional corporate drama, created by DLA Piper to be used as a training tool for directors, legal departments and management at companies around the world. The film is about a fictional company, STANFERN Worldwide Auto, that is navigating an internal global investigation after an employee hears about an elaborate kickback scheme spanning multiple countries and involving a vendor and STANFERN’s procurement personnel.

The film covers a number of real issues that companies face, including whistle-blower response protocol, compliance and audit internal failures, insufficient investigative resources and management of internal investigations. It is designed to be shown in three parts, allowing breaks for discussion and comments from participants after each 15-minute segment.

“This film, much like the previous films in our Compliance series, is an innovative, unconventional and highly effective method of helping clients think in new ways about issues of corporate governance – in this case, how to properly manage an internal investigation,” said Brett Ingerman, global co-chair of DLA Piper’s Compliance and Governance practice. “We have designed a format that encourages open dialogue about best practices and establishes practical actions to take in response to real problems that our clients face.”

The release of Something to Report follows the first two award-winning instalments in the Compliance series, At What Cost? and In A Flash, which have a similar format. At What Cost?, which was named a bronze winner of the 34th Annual Telly Awards, addresses the importance of directors and management reacting to indications of questionable or fraudulent conduct within the company. In A Flash, which was recognised by the Legal Marketing Association in its annual award ceremony, focuses on cybersecurity, including cyber-governance, cyber-risk management, security protocols and incident response plans.

DLA Piper’s Global Governance and Compliance group has unparalleled experience helping clients with international operations meet the evolving – and sometimes conflicting – expectations of regulatory and enforcement agencies. With compliance-focused lawyers in more than 75 offices around the world, DLA Piper has the global breadth, local knowledge and industry experience to guide clients in all aspects of designing, implementing and managing compliance programs, assessing and mitigating risk, remediating compliance issues and running internal investigations.

DLA Piper advises Iberdrola on AUD893 million takeover

Global law firm DLA Piper has advised Spanish utility giant Iberdrola on its AUD893 million takeover of Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN).

This acquisition allows Iberdrola to establish a beachhead in Australia via acquiring one of the country’s most significant renewable energy companies, strongly complementing its Port Augusta hybrid farm project approved in January 2020, and positioning it to participate in the significant expected growth in the Australian renewable market.

DLA Piper’s cross-border, cross-practice team was led by Inigo Gomez-Jordana in Spain and James Stewart in Australia, supported by partners Tom Fotheringham and Lyndon Masters, as well as special counsel Roger Hawkins and solicitor Tarrant Sewell.

The DLA Piper team was able to support Iberdrola through the complexities of the Foreign Investment Review Board approval process, recently amended due to the COVID-19 disruption, and expedited an approval within weeks.

Inigo Gomez-Jordana and James Stewart noted: “We are delighted that our client Iberdrola has successfully completed the takeover of Infigen Energy. Our team was perfectly placed to advise our client on this cross-border transaction, particularly relating to strategies to address a competing bidder and obtaining Foreign Investment Review Board approval. This is a fantastic result for Iberdrola, and we are excited to see them expand into the Australian market.”

Four DLA Piper lawyers join WILEF leadership

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that four of its lawyers have joined the leadership of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). Ellen Scordino, a member of WILEF’s Global Advisory Board, will now also become a WILEF Boston co-chair, and Mariah DiGrino, Colleen Carey Gulliver and Holly Lake will join WILEF’s Global Advisory Board.

Scordino, a Boston-based partner in DLA Piper’s Intellectual Property and Technology practice, focuses on patent litigation, commercial matters and client counselling in the pharmaceuticals, biologics, diagnostics, biofuels and medical device industries.

DiGrino, a Real Estate partner based in Chicago, concentrates her practice in the areas of land use and zoning, public-private financing, public incentives, historic preservation, and community and economic development, as well as general real estate.

Gulliver is a New York-based partner in DLA Piper’s Litigation and Regulatory practice. Her practice includes the defence of class actions in various substantive areas, such as consumer, privacy and securities litigation, for many different industries, including consumer goods and retail, transportation and technology, as well as corporate litigation and counselling, business litigation and securities enforcement matters.

Lake is a Los Angeles-based partner in DLA Piper’s Employment practice. She is an employment litigator and advisor. She has a breadth of experience defending clients across industries, not only in single/multiple plaintiff cases, but also defending employers in wage-and-hour class, collective and private attorney general representative actions under California laws and the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. She also advises clients on all matters related to employment, including OFCCP compliance and affirmative action program development.

WILEF is the premier organisation for women in law exclusively dedicated to women from the largest law firms and corporate law departments in the United States.

DLA Piper wins landmark broadcasting dispute

DLA Piper has obtained two landmark decisions on central broadcasting law issues for ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland GmbH and Sat.1 SatellitenFernsehen GmbH in a dispute with the state media authorities of Rhineland-Palatinate (LMK) and of Hesse (LPR) at the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG).

The appeal proceedings concerned the legality of the license for the nationwide television channel SAT.1. This licence has been granted to ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland GmbH by the state media authority of Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein (MA HSH). It was issued under the condition that the previous licence for SAT.1, which has been granted by the LMK in 2008, is returned by its current holder Sat.1 SatellitenFernsehen GmbH.

After the actions for annulment of the new licence brought by LMK and LPR had already been unsuccessful in the lower courts, the Federal Administrative Court has now also rejected the appeals of the two state media authorities in last instance and confirmed the licence granted to ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland GmbH. In August of last year the Federal Administrative Court had already rejected a motion for interim measures by a third party claiming detriments as a result of the planned change of the licence holder. Unlike the Higher Regional Court the Federal Administrative Court now generally denied the state media authorities’ right to sue. The Higher Regional Court had still assumed such right for the LMK.

The Federal Administrative Court has ruled that actions brought by state media authorities are inadmissible when they are directed against a licence for a nationwide television programme granted by another state media authority. In this respect, according to the court, a state media authority does not have any entitlement. Such entitlement neither arises from the fundamental right of freedom of broadcasting (Article 5 (1) sentence 2 of the German constitution) nor from an “ultimate responsibility for the legality of broadcastings in the respective purview of each state media authority”.

The decisions have fundamental importance. In 1997 the Federal Administrative Court had confirmed such ultimate responsibility of the state media authorities on basis of the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty in force then and in view of constitutional protection duties. Yet, the Federal Administrative Court no longer adheres to this in view of amendments to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty which came into force mainly in 2008. Rather, in the opinion of the Federal Administrative Court, the current licensing and supervisory precludes ultimate responsibility of the individual state media authorities when it comes to licensing of nationwide broadcasters. With the new regulation the decision on the licensing of nationwide broadcasters had been transferred to joint bodies of the state media authorities, in particular the Commission for Licensing and Supervision (ZAK), which makes binding decisions with the majority of its legal members.

Moreover, the Federal Administrative Court did not follow the constitutional objections raised by the state media authorities against the reorganisation of media supervision introduced in 2008. The fact that the pluralistically composed decision-making bodies of the state media authorities lost a considerable amount of importance is compatible with the requirements of Article 5 (1) sentence 2 of the German constitution as well as with the principles of federalism and democracy.