In the Press
May 1, 2024

Five ESG Issues to Watch (Private Equity International)


As a part of a pro bono project, Goodwin is drafting model contract clauses that reflect “the fund’s obligation to do human rights due diligence prior to a transaction, and to support portfolio companies in their ongoing human rights due diligence”, says ESG partner Danielle Reyes. If human rights concerns arise at a business during private equity ownership, Reyes stresses that “the remedy is not to just divest from that company, but rather first to try to address the issue”. This includes the sponsor supporting the portfolio company in addressing the problem, as well as accepting some responsibility if it has contributed to any harm caused. Legal challenges may arise due to recent US Supreme Court case prohibiting race-based university admissions and similar lawsuits, such as the Fearless Fund case, affecting underrepresented small businesses. Reyes says “We have seen a shift from very targeted initiatives for a very specific community to a broadening of the eligibility criteria.” More in Private Equity International.