Foley Hoag LLP has expanded
its Corporate Social Responsibility Practice with the addition of John G.
Ruggie, the recent U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative for Business
and Human Rights and current Harvard professor, who will join the firm's Boston
office in September as a senior advisor.
Ruggie authored the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which
the U.N. Human Rights Council formally endorsed in June after six years of
development. The principles provide high-level guidance to companies on managing
the human rights impacts of their operations and are likely to affect national
law and policy in jurisdictions worldwide.
Key elements of the Guiding Principles have also been incorporated into the
updated OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and into ISO26000, a new
social responsibility standard adopted by the International Organization for
Standardization. The International Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm
of the World Bank, has revised its policy and performance standards for clients
to recognize explicitly for the first time the business responsibility to
respect human rights.
As a senior advisor in Foley Hoag's Corporate Social Responsibility Practice,
Ruggie will help multinational companies navigate the Guiding Principles and
apply them to their global business practices. He will also provide broad-based
guidance in the area of business and human rights. Ruggie will continue to serve
as the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at
Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and as an Affiliated Professor in
International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School after he joins the firm.
"John Ruggie is one of the premier authorities on corporate citizenship and
responsibility," said Adam Kahn, Foley Hoag co-managing partner. "He joins an
internationally recognized team of lawyers who advise clients on business issues
throughout the world, and he is a welcome addition to the firm."
Foley Hoag's Corporate Social Responsibility Practice advises multinational
corporations, governments, and multilateral institutions on a range of social,
political, and environmental issues in the global business marketplace. Foley
Hoag helps clients anticipate social, ethical, and environmental accountability
challenges and limit their risks by incorporating internationally recognized
standards into their strategies and operations and relationships with
"The Corporate Social Responsibility Practice we have built at Foley Hoag
during the past decade provides clients with unparalleled insight into their
operations," said Gare Smith, a Washington-based partner and chair of Foley
Hoag's Corporate Social Responsibility Practice. "They can depend on us to
consider their business objectives in any solution we propose. To have John
Ruggie join us further strengthens this level of service, and will allow us to
help clients apply the Guiding Principles and more effectively manage their
Now that the focus has moved on to implementation of the Guiding Principles,
the opportunity to apply his unparalleled international policy experience with a
leading corporate social responsibility practice was a key reason Ruggie decided
to join Foley Hoag.
"Joining Foley Hoag, with a talented group of corporate social responsibility
lawyers, is a great fit and gives me the opportunity to help companies apply
these standards on an international scale," Ruggie said. "The aim is for
companies to avoid involvement in human rights harm in the first place, and to
remediate harm where it does occur."
Ruggie has long been involved in practical policy work, initially as a
consultant to various agencies of the United Nations and the U.S. government.
From 1997-2001 he served as U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic
Planning, where he was responsible for establishing and overseeing the U.N.
Global Compact, now the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative;
proposing and gaining General Assembly approval for the Millennium Development
Goals; advising Secretary-General Kofi Annan on relations with Washington; and
broadly contributing to the effort at institutional renewal for which Annan and
the United Nations as a whole were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
About Foley Hoag LLP
Foley Hoag is a dynamic law firm that represents public and private clients
in a wide range of disputes and transactions worldwide. We have expertise in
industries such as life sciences and healthcare, technology, energy and
renewables, investment management, and professional services. We also offer our
clients market-leading international litigation and arbitration and corporate
social responsibility services. From our offices in Boston, Washington, D.C. and
Paris, and our Emerging Enterprise Center in Waltham, Massachusetts, we provide
strategic legal advice that is tailored to each of our clients' unique goals.
Foley Hoag combines powerful regional, national, and international practices
that share a common emphasis on client service. We are focused on what we do
best: helping our clients succeed through the delivery of exceptional legal
service. For more information, visit www.foleyhoag.com.