CMS Expert Guide for directors and CEOs

Legal guide for directors' duties and responsibilities


We last updated this guide in April 2020 in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 – to include specific guidance for directors on their responsibilities in light of the pandemic, and to provide a summary of the relevant changes in law made as countries rushed to respond. In most countries, government focus has now shifted away from lockdowns and emergency economic support packages towards rebuilding the economy, as vaccination and other initiatives allow normal life to resume in most areas.

This resumption of activity has prompted governments to focus on “building back better”, reflecting the fact that the pandemic has resulted in some fundamental changes to our way of life, and has provided a unique opportunity for society to re-evaluate its priorities and adopt new and improved approaches.

In the corporate context, this has provided a further impetus to the pre-existing trend to focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and these issues now form a key part of directors’ duties. With this backdrop we have taken the opportunity to update our guide by providing responses to the most frequently asked questions relating to the breadth of these ESG-related responsibilities in key jurisdictions across the world.

Unless otherwise stated in any specific chapter, this overview reflects the law in force in each jurisdiction as at 30 September 2021. We intend to update it periodically to reflect important changes as they happen.

Authors

Portrait of Louise Wallace
Louise Wallace
Partner
London
Portrait of Stefan Brunnschweiler
Stefan Brunnschweiler, LL.M.
Managing Partner
Zurich
Portrait of Mark Bertram
Mark Bertram
Partner
London