Impact + Responsible Investing

Investors everywhere are increasingly more mindful of environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues and recognize the power of making a positive social and/or environmental impact through their investments, without sacrificing investment returns. Goodwin is at the forefront of this movement, providing innovative and effective counsel to today’s most discerning investors.

Why impact and responsible investing? Impact and responsible investing is among the fastest growing, most prolific form of global financial innovation. Worldwide assets in this space increased more than 60% between 2012-2014 (from $13.3 trillion to $21.4 trillion), outpacing growth among all professionally managed assets. While venture capital and private equity investments have dominated the impact space, impact and responsible investing occurs across all asset classes.

Why such rapid growth? Available global capital is at a decided surplus, and increasingly focused on funding “the good ideas.” An overwhelming majority of investors recognize that all investment has an impact, and are increasingly committed to ensuring that those impacts are positive – “doing good, while doing well”. This growing commitment to impact and responsible investing is widespread, with an estimated 77% of US affluent investors recently surveyed indicating they want their assets to have a positive impact on society.

For some, questions remain on the tension between impact and financial returns. For others, the contrary evidence is mounting that impact and returns do not need to be mutually exclusive. While some in this space focus more on the philanthropic end of the spectrum of impact and responsible investing, current data indicates that when these strategies target financial returns, they are performing close to the market, and in some instances, outperforming traditional asset class strategies. As a result, a new and different relationship has emerged for investors and investment managers alike, one in which cogent verification of impact and/or ESG benefits and screens is increasingly commonplace, if not essential to success.

The motivations informing the shift toward impact and responsible investing are clear, and the opportunities are rapidly gaining market traction. It is therefore essential for investors and asset managers seeking to navigate this space to understand the complex landscape to  generate stronger results.

Why Goodwin? Impact and responsible investing demand the unique team and skill set, with broad financial innovation experience, that Goodwin brings to the table. Goodwin is the “go-to” firm for the special needs of innovative investors, financial institutions, asset managers and entrepreneurs. We are accustomed to meeting the nuanced needs and goals of these investors and managers, and have the depth of experience to design successful structures and systems necessary in responsible and impact investing.

Our Impact + Responsible Investing team is structured on a cross-disciplinary basis with experience across the spectrum of asset classes and practice areas to identify and address unique legal issues, including: ESG and sustainability certifications, B-corp formation/certifications, ILPA compliance, FCPA compliance, tax-exempt status, ERISA and others. We also understand the challenges of measuring ESG and other impact metrics. This movement speaks to the firm’s history of being on the forefront of unprecedented change effecting our clients, and we are committed to meeting the needs of this emerging group of investors.

Related Practices

Business + Commercial Litigation

Companies often face complex disputes with other businesses, government entities, or groups of individuals, which require an understanding of both the business issue and the industry of the client. Our Business Litigation practice specializes in handling these complex disputes, representing leaders in diverse industry sectors, including many Fortune 100 companies, in connection with their most important litigation matters. What sets us apart from our peers is our depth of trial and arbitration experience, class action expertise, and connections to the specialized business litigation courts across the country.
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Carbon Markets + Climate Change

Widely regarded as the future’s most challenging energy and environmental issue, climate change is increasingly center stage in corporate America, impacting business strategy choices and daily operations. Goodwin became intensively involved with the issue early on – helping energy technology and engineering clients to develop strategies and address litigation in which climate change plays a central role.
Read More

CleanTech

Goodwin’s clean technology and energy practice focuses on entrepreneurs, operating companies, and investors who are pioneers in the clean tech and energy markets. We’re currently counsel to over 500 technology-based clients, including some of the leading wind, solar and biofuels companies and represent 200 venture capital and private equity firms, leveraging relationships with investors on behalf of our clients.
Read More

Energy

The energy industry faces a rapidly shifting landscape of market challenges, regulatory hurdles and technological changes.Energy companies consistently rely on Goodwin’s highly successful, multi-faceted transactional, regulatory and litigation practice. We help our clients succeed in nuclear, solar, wind, renewable and alternative energy technologies.
Read More

ERISA Litigation

As retirement plans have come to hold an increasing proportion of the nation’s wealth, the number of lawsuits claiming violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) has mushroomed. With our expertise in financial services and capital markets, we are uniquely positioned to defend ERISA litigation that challenges the way products and services within the employee benefit plan marketplace, including retirement, life, and health, are managed and administered.
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Financial Industry

From acquiring a company to raising public or private funds, we provide strategic and tactical advice, a range of pragmatic options, and bottom-line results. We do more than just help our clients survive the current challenges; we partner with them to find the best solutions and identify new business opportunities.

Read More

Financial Industry Litigation

The financial industry faces unique challenges, some of which can lead to crippling regulatory scrutiny and massive litigation. Goodwin understands those challenges, and we use our deeply rooted knowledge and diverse perspectives of the broad financial services industry to defend our clients in litigation, class actions, enforcement actions and government investigations. As part of Goodwin’s broader Financial Industry team, our lawyers are laser-focused on the distinct issues impacting clients in this industry, and we use a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach to help our clients mitigate risk and defend their interests.
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FinTech

The financial services industry is experiencing an unprecedented technology revolution. Recent studies predict that worldwide IT spending for financial services will reach $500 billion before decade’s end, and FinTech investment has tripled globally since 2008.
 
The increased complexity of financial products, stringent oversight and regulation, and the need to improve profitability and streamline processes are driving financial institutions and financial services participants to deploy a growing range of finance-related software. As one of the only law firms with market-leading technology and financial institutions practices, Goodwin has been advising clients in the FinTech sector for over a decade and has extensive experience working with both established and emerging businesses in virtually all market segments.
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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a critical business issue for international companies with operations in the United States. Government investigations and enforcement actions resulting from alleged violations of the FCPA can be a financial liability and place an unwelcome public spotlight on a company’s management. Goodwin Procter’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act team, which includes a number of former federal prosecutors, has extensive experience investigating and defending against FCPA allegations.
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Privacy + Cybersecurity

As businesses today face an increasingly sophisticated threat environment compounded by aggressive regulatory enforcement, companies need a partner who can help you mitigate risk and respond to the unthinkable. Our Privacy + Cybersecurity practice is one of the longest-standing privacy practices of any AmLaw 50 firm. Dating back to the late 1990s and established formally in 2004, it is fully integrated and leverages the firm's core strengths, with the group's lawyers coming from the technology, financial institutions, licensing, litigation, regulatory and appellate practices. This unique approach, focusing on client needs and value, enables us to engage specialists whose experience is framed by a holistic understanding of clients' needs in this threatening environment. Our practice provides a full spectrum of services from advice and counseling, transaction-related advice, defense of class action litigation and government enforcement actions. Having counseled on hundreds of data breaches and litigated landmark cases, we provide practical advice on all aspects of information-related management and risk before, during and after breaches. 
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Private Equity

In the face of a competitive marketplace, elite private equity firms expect counsel with extensive experience and a stable of blue chip relationships. That’s why private equity firms have been entrusting their deals to Goodwin for decades. Our Private Equity team ranks as one of the top in the United States, and we are on a trajectory of rapid ascent, both in the U.S. and worldwide. The group is a market leader in the expansive middle market sector, having earned a reputation for notable buyouts, growth equity deals and growth company representations in key sectors such as technology, healthcare, financial and business services, consumer and manufacturing. 
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Private Investment Funds

Few firms offer the breadth of practice that we bring to private fund managers and investors. We understand the issues specific to different types of funds and offer advice that comes from a wealth of experience across industries and global markets. Our lawyers work in all the key industries, including, real estate, venture capital, private equity, infrastructure, natural resources and hedge funds, raising funds worldwide that range from less than $50 million to over $12 billion. The depth and breadth of our experience allows us to provide our clients with the most current market terms for their industry as well as access to cutting-edge developments across industries.

We handle every stage in the life cycle, and we provide fund managers with the sophisticated level of counsel required for forming, advising and operating private investment funds. Within fund formation, we take a creative approach, starting with not only the specific objectives of a particular fund but also an assessment of how the fund fits within the client’s broader business goals. We then help fund managers determine the best structure and terms to achieve those goals.

Read More

Real Estate Industry

Rising interest rates? Falling tenant demand? “High-yield” or “value-added”? Across the global real estate capital markets, how you position yourself with respect to risk and return is critical for maximizing your investments. Whether assessing demographic trends and capital flows or anticipating geographic shifts, Goodwin’s Real Estate Industry Group offers deep market insight and a practical approach to help you make the most of every investment decision – from private fund formation and all types of real estate transactions to REIT and real estate M&A, we excel at what we do.

Read More

Tax

Complex tax issues often arise in structuring strategic, commercial and financial transactions and investment products. To find practical solutions to these challenging issues, clients rely on Goodwin’s tax lawyers to advise on the full range of international, federal and state tax issues. Clients seek us out not only to address their tax issues on a transaction, but also to help them gain a competitive advantage by creating structures designed to solve the tax issues faced by the counterparties.
Read More

Tax-Exempt Organizations

Nonprofit and charitable organizations of all types and sizes depend on Goodwin for sound advice on the range of legal issues they encounter from forming tax-exempt entities to serving as outside counsel for day-to-day legal issues. Our interdisciplinary team of lawyers works with colleges, universities, research organizations, museums, environmental organizations, family and corporate foundations, and community development/lending organizations. The Tax-exempt practice includes Goodwin lawyers from the corporate, tax, real estate, ERISA/employee benefits, intellectual property, environmental and litigation practices.

 
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Technology

As a growing technology company, your prospects are exciting and your challenges are unique – from securing funding, protecting IP, and navigating the regulatory environment, to differentiating yourself in the marketplace, managing customer acquisition and scaling your business. We get it. We are proud to bring a comprehensive, coordinated approach that interconnects business, new technologies and the law.

At Goodwin, we share your entrepreneurial spirit. We partner with you to grow your business and realize your potential more effectively – with a combination of legal experience and business savvy that can scale with management teams from the earliest stages of development through mature public company. We support clients at all stages of the corporate life cycle with legal advisory related to company formation, IP protection, licensing, commercial agreements and venture financing to IPOs, M&A, corporate governance, board matters and more.

With 180+ lawyers dedicated to the industry, we have one of the largest and most recognized technology practices in the United States. Consistently rated in the top five most active of all law firms for venture capital, IPOs and M&A, we draw on our deep experience and network of clients and investors to provide the most effective and efficient counsel for today’s emerging companies.

Read More

Trusts + Estates Planning

High net worth individuals and families, entrepreneurs and businesses often encounter situations that require sophisticated estate, gift and income tax planning. Planned or unexpected intergenerational transfers of wealth and business deals and restructuring are opportunities to maximize tax efficiencies, freeing up assets, time and energy for the revitalization of a family or business.  Finding creative solutions in these types of situations is a highly personalized practice at Goodwin. Our lawyers have decades of experience designing creative, effective plans focused on the goals and needs of our clients. We are able to draw on the resources of a large firm as needed to provide truly customized plans for each of our clients.
Read More
Related Practices
Business + Commercial Litigation
Companies often face complex disputes with other businesses, government entities, or groups of individuals, which require an understanding of both the business issue and the industry of the client. Our Business Litigation practice specializes in handling these complex disputes, representing leaders in diverse industry sectors, including many Fortune 100 companies, in connection with their most important litigation matters. What sets us apart from our peers is our depth of trial and arbitration experience, class action expertise, and connections to the specialized business litigation courts across the country.
Read More
Carbon Markets + Climate Change
Widely regarded as the future’s most challenging energy and environmental issue, climate change is increasingly center stage in corporate America, impacting business strategy choices and daily operations. Goodwin became intensively involved with the issue early on – helping energy technology and engineering clients to develop strategies and address litigation in which climate change plays a central role.
Read More
CleanTech
Goodwin’s clean technology and energy practice focuses on entrepreneurs, operating companies, and investors who are pioneers in the clean tech and energy markets. We’re currently counsel to over 500 technology-based clients, including some of the leading wind, solar and biofuels companies and represent 200 venture capital and private equity firms, leveraging relationships with investors on behalf of our clients.
Read More
Energy
The energy industry faces a rapidly shifting landscape of market challenges, regulatory hurdles and technological changes.Energy companies consistently rely on Goodwin’s highly successful, multi-faceted transactional, regulatory and litigation practice. We help our clients succeed in nuclear, solar, wind, renewable and alternative energy technologies.
Read More
ERISA Litigation
As retirement plans have come to hold an increasing proportion of the nation’s wealth, the number of lawsuits claiming violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) has mushroomed. With our expertise in financial services and capital markets, we are uniquely positioned to defend ERISA litigation that challenges the way products and services within the employee benefit plan marketplace, including retirement, life, and health, are managed and administered.
Read More
Financial Industry

From acquiring a company to raising public or private funds, we provide strategic and tactical advice, a range of pragmatic options, and bottom-line results. We do more than just help our clients survive the current challenges; we partner with them to find the best solutions and identify new business opportunities.

Read More
Financial Industry Litigation
The financial industry faces unique challenges, some of which can lead to crippling regulatory scrutiny and massive litigation. Goodwin understands those challenges, and we use our deeply rooted knowledge and diverse perspectives of the broad financial services industry to defend our clients in litigation, class actions, enforcement actions and government investigations. As part of Goodwin’s broader Financial Industry team, our lawyers are laser-focused on the distinct issues impacting clients in this industry, and we use a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach to help our clients mitigate risk and defend their interests.
Read More
FinTech
The financial services industry is experiencing an unprecedented technology revolution. Recent studies predict that worldwide IT spending for financial services will reach $500 billion before decade’s end, and FinTech investment has tripled globally since 2008.
 
The increased complexity of financial products, stringent oversight and regulation, and the need to improve profitability and streamline processes are driving financial institutions and financial services participants to deploy a growing range of finance-related software. As one of the only law firms with market-leading technology and financial institutions practices, Goodwin has been advising clients in the FinTech sector for over a decade and has extensive experience working with both established and emerging businesses in virtually all market segments.
Read More
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a critical business issue for international companies with operations in the United States. Government investigations and enforcement actions resulting from alleged violations of the FCPA can be a financial liability and place an unwelcome public spotlight on a company’s management. Goodwin Procter’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act team, which includes a number of former federal prosecutors, has extensive experience investigating and defending against FCPA allegations.
Read More
Privacy + Cybersecurity
As businesses today face an increasingly sophisticated threat environment compounded by aggressive regulatory enforcement, companies need a partner who can help you mitigate risk and respond to the unthinkable. Our Privacy + Cybersecurity practice is one of the longest-standing privacy practices of any AmLaw 50 firm. Dating back to the late 1990s and established formally in 2004, it is fully integrated and leverages the firm's core strengths, with the group's lawyers coming from the technology, financial institutions, licensing, litigation, regulatory and appellate practices. This unique approach, focusing on client needs and value, enables us to engage specialists whose experience is framed by a holistic understanding of clients' needs in this threatening environment. Our practice provides a full spectrum of services from advice and counseling, transaction-related advice, defense of class action litigation and government enforcement actions. Having counseled on hundreds of data breaches and litigated landmark cases, we provide practical advice on all aspects of information-related management and risk before, during and after breaches. 
Read More
Private Equity
In the face of a competitive marketplace, elite private equity firms expect counsel with extensive experience and a stable of blue chip relationships. That’s why private equity firms have been entrusting their deals to Goodwin for decades. Our Private Equity team ranks as one of the top in the United States, and we are on a trajectory of rapid ascent, both in the U.S. and worldwide. The group is a market leader in the expansive middle market sector, having earned a reputation for notable buyouts, growth equity deals and growth company representations in key sectors such as technology, healthcare, financial and business services, consumer and manufacturing. 
Read More
Private Investment Funds

Few firms offer the breadth of practice that we bring to private fund managers and investors. We understand the issues specific to different types of funds and offer advice that comes from a wealth of experience across industries and global markets. Our lawyers work in all the key industries, including, real estate, venture capital, private equity, infrastructure, natural resources and hedge funds, raising funds worldwide that range from less than $50 million to over $12 billion. The depth and breadth of our experience allows us to provide our clients with the most current market terms for their industry as well as access to cutting-edge developments across industries.

We handle every stage in the life cycle, and we provide fund managers with the sophisticated level of counsel required for forming, advising and operating private investment funds. Within fund formation, we take a creative approach, starting with not only the specific objectives of a particular fund but also an assessment of how the fund fits within the client’s broader business goals. We then help fund managers determine the best structure and terms to achieve those goals.

Read More
Real Estate Industry

Rising interest rates? Falling tenant demand? “High-yield” or “value-added”? Across the global real estate capital markets, how you position yourself with respect to risk and return is critical for maximizing your investments. Whether assessing demographic trends and capital flows or anticipating geographic shifts, Goodwin’s Real Estate Industry Group offers deep market insight and a practical approach to help you make the most of every investment decision – from private fund formation and all types of real estate transactions to REIT and real estate M&A, we excel at what we do.

Read More
Tax
Complex tax issues often arise in structuring strategic, commercial and financial transactions and investment products. To find practical solutions to these challenging issues, clients rely on Goodwin’s tax lawyers to advise on the full range of international, federal and state tax issues. Clients seek us out not only to address their tax issues on a transaction, but also to help them gain a competitive advantage by creating structures designed to solve the tax issues faced by the counterparties.
Read More
Tax-Exempt Organizations

Nonprofit and charitable organizations of all types and sizes depend on Goodwin for sound advice on the range of legal issues they encounter from forming tax-exempt entities to serving as outside counsel for day-to-day legal issues. Our interdisciplinary team of lawyers works with colleges, universities, research organizations, museums, environmental organizations, family and corporate foundations, and community development/lending organizations. The Tax-exempt practice includes Goodwin lawyers from the corporate, tax, real estate, ERISA/employee benefits, intellectual property, environmental and litigation practices.

 
Read More
Technology

As a growing technology company, your prospects are exciting and your challenges are unique – from securing funding, protecting IP, and navigating the regulatory environment, to differentiating yourself in the marketplace, managing customer acquisition and scaling your business. We get it. We are proud to bring a comprehensive, coordinated approach that interconnects business, new technologies and the law.

At Goodwin, we share your entrepreneurial spirit. We partner with you to grow your business and realize your potential more effectively – with a combination of legal experience and business savvy that can scale with management teams from the earliest stages of development through mature public company. We support clients at all stages of the corporate life cycle with legal advisory related to company formation, IP protection, licensing, commercial agreements and venture financing to IPOs, M&A, corporate governance, board matters and more.

With 180+ lawyers dedicated to the industry, we have one of the largest and most recognized technology practices in the United States. Consistently rated in the top five most active of all law firms for venture capital, IPOs and M&A, we draw on our deep experience and network of clients and investors to provide the most effective and efficient counsel for today’s emerging companies.

Read More
Trusts + Estates Planning
High net worth individuals and families, entrepreneurs and businesses often encounter situations that require sophisticated estate, gift and income tax planning. Planned or unexpected intergenerational transfers of wealth and business deals and restructuring are opportunities to maximize tax efficiencies, freeing up assets, time and energy for the revitalization of a family or business.  Finding creative solutions in these types of situations is a highly personalized practice at Goodwin. Our lawyers have decades of experience designing creative, effective plans focused on the goals and needs of our clients. We are able to draw on the resources of a large firm as needed to provide truly customized plans for each of our clients.
Read More

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