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Freshfields report explores issues that will dominate 2021 U.S. corporate board agendas during the recovery era

Board Memo 2021: A Guide to Taking on the Recovery Era provides directors of U.S. public companies with practical insight for navigating ESG considerations, the upcoming 2021 proxy season, the M&A and activism landscape and a shifting enforcement, regulatory and litigation environment

A new report issued by leading law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (“Freshfields”) examines how business leaders should approach positioning their companies for the future in a recovery-era world. Board Memo 2021: A Guide to Taking on the Recovery Era, the firm’s most recent edition of its annual guide for U.S. corporate boards, gives practical insight for taking on opportunities and managing risks as companies enter the year ahead, focusing on priorities for strategic plans, operations, and governance.

“As our clients work hard to take on the recovery era, there is a special set of considerations that boards must master,” said Pamela Marcogliese, a partner in Freshfields’ Capital Markets and Corporate Governance practice and one of the report’s lead authors. “We recognize the difficult task for boards who must continue to focus on the stability, adaptability and future growth of the business while managing the interests of an increasingly varied group of stakeholders. In 2021, to exercise effective leadership, boards will need to have a strong understanding of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, shaped by the current business environment, stakeholder expectations, shifting risk exposures and recent and anticipated regulatory changes.”

Board Memo 2021 assembles experts from across Freshfields’ U.S. offices and practices to provide insights through a series of articles, podcasts, and other thought leadership, on the following key areas:

• Future of shareholder activism
• Human capital management and diversity
• Shareholder derivative actions
• Sustainability, climate change and sustainable financing
• Changes to the upcoming proxy season
• New SEC focus on compensation disclosure
• Recovery-era M&A expectations
• Antitrust outlook
• Foreign investment regulatory outlook
• Sanctions
• Investigations
• Privacy and cyber risks
• Tax reform
• Litigation and enforcement

The executive summary and full report are available for download here. Receive more insights on corporate governance and related matters by signing up on our blog.


About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global elite law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on groundbreaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800-plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multinational expertise, and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most.

Freshfields is the only firm ranked by Chambers Global in Band 1 across the seven areas of antitrust, corporate/M&A, dispute resolution, international arbitration, tax, employee benefits, and public international law. For more information visit

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

For more information contact:

Elliott Frieder
+1 212 230 4664

Marie Fryatt
+44 207 785 5897