Orrick Unveils Major Study on Corporate Governance of Nation’s Tech Sector
Following up on groundbreaking studies last year examining corporate governance structures in the tech sector, Orrick today released a new report detailing the corporate governance approaches of the leading public companies in the energy industry. Led by partner Ed Batts, the study broke down the boardroom structures of 54 companies in the Dow Jones Energy Sector Index and the S&P Energy Index, including recognized industry leaders such as Chevron, Cheniere Energy, Halliburton, First Solar Inc. and World Fuel Services Corp.
The study revealed certain contrasts with the tech sector, where more public companies have opted for dual class stock structures that can be more susceptible to investor activism. The study also identified a trend somewhat unique to the energy (and pharmaceutical) industries – a meaningful portion of companies are organized under laws outside the U.S., notably Switzerland, the U.K. and island nations such as Bermuda and Curacao.
Other key trends identified in the report include:
This study is Orrick’s latest venture designed to provide the nation’s boards with a portrait of corporate governance practices evolving among public companies across sectors. Last year, Ed, global head of Orrick’s M&A team, led a study examining the corporate governance structures of every public company in the Dow Technology Sector Index, as well as another examination of the largest public companies in the tech-heavy San Francisco Bay Area.
“We developed important information for our tech clients who often asked us a fundamental question about corporate governance practices – ‘What do other companies do?’” Ed said. “We thought it made sense to do the same for our clients in the energy sector, one of the strategic pillars of our firm’s commitment to serving the tech, energy and infrastructure and finance sectors.”
Orrick has teams in offices around the world dedicated to representing the energy and infrastructure sector, including Chambers ranked lawyers in the U.S., France, Africa, U.K., Japan and Italy.
In addition to Ed, Sara Gates, an associate in Orrick’s Silicon Valley office, was instrumental in assembling the corporate governance study on the energy industry.
A summary of this report may be found on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulations blog here.