Latham & Watkins hires partners for ESG leadership

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The offices of the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Betty Moy Huber and Sarah Fortt to lead environmental, social and governance team with London partner Paul Davies
  • ESG is "a front and center concern" says New York managing partner

(Reuters) - Latham & Watkins has hired Betty Moy Huber and Sarah Fortt as leaders of its environmental, social and governance team, the firm said on Monday.

Huber joins Latham in New York from Davis, Polk & Wardwell, where she was co-head of the firm's ESG and environmental groups, Latham said. Fortt, who previously led ESG efforts at Vinson & Elkins, joins Latham's Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C., offices.

The lawyers, who were both counsel at their prior firms, will serve as global co-chairs of the ESG practice alongside Paul Davies, a partner with the 3,000-lawyer firm in London.

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ESG presents "a front and center concern here in New York as well as in the world's other major financial centers," Marc Jaffe, managing partner of Latham's New York office, said in a statement. "We see it in nearly every transaction, from IPOs, to ESG-focused activism and shareholder proposals, to mergers and green financings," Jaffe said.

Fortt and Huber join Latham's capital markets and public company representation practice.

Law firms have launched and expanded ESG-related practice groups in the past few years as companies, investors and regulators have scrambled to meet increased focus on these areas.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Seyfarth Shaw and Kelley Drye & Warren created new ESG groups last year. Other firms built out existing practices, including Kirkland & Ellis, which recruited Sara Orr, a former Latham ESG leader, in May 2021.

A Davis Polk representative said the firm wishes Huber well. A Vinson & Elkins representative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more:

Big Law bets that ESG trend is here to stay with fresh moves by Orrick, Seyfarth

ESG is 'mission critical.' Can Paul Weiss get law schools on board?

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com