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5 Oct 2011

Chip Pitts, Stanford Law School & Oxford University, in Lawyers for Better Business

Authentic leadership: The Lawyer’s Role in Corporate Social Responsibility, Business and Human Rights

Lawyers have long held leadership roles in society, whether as leaders of institutions themselves or counselors to those leaders and institutions…Although our understanding of lawyers’ leadership roles has advanced alongside the continuing crisis of leadership, there’s clearly been inadequate progress to date…Query whether…lengthy, and expensive legal measures (for the corporate clients as well as the victims) actually serve legitimate private interests — not to mention the public interest in seeing a fair remedy and justice done. What if, instead of subjecting their clients to years of expensive litigation unlikely to ultimately prevail, the lawyers had instead exercised leadership by seeing, then working for, a vision of more equitable, multi–stakeholder outcomes that respect everyone’s rights and creatively accommodate them in the long–term interests of the company and its stakeholders? [refers to Shell, Chevron, Texaco (part of Chevron), BP, Enron, News of the World]