Challenges in Corporate Governance: The Role of Corporate Directors in a Corporate Crisis

Wednesday, October 21, 2013
The George Washington University Law School
Tasher Great Room, Burns Law Library 

Sponsored jointly by The Center for Law, Economics, and Finance (C-LEAF) and the Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR) of the GW School of Business, The program will focus on Corporate Directors' role in a corporate crisis. Corporate Boards of Directors typically have several standing committees to deal with their fiduciary responsibility to oversee the financial reporting, risk management, CEO succession, CEO and senior management compensation, and corporate governance. Further, the Board as a whole typically addresses corporate strategy issues. However, when a crisis hits, the Board cannot rely on routine processes. Rather, the Board needs a more time sensitive and intense approach in order to react quickly and appropriately to the immediate issue. There is a wide range of possible crises - bankruptcy, significant enforcement actions or litigation, hostile takeovers, an international incident, and a host of other unexpected and unwanted events that the Board must address quickly and diligently.

Issues that will be addressed will include how a crisis is escalated to the Board level, how the Board organizes to react to it, the pitfalls they may encounter, what type of outside advisors they may engage, and the impact of the crisis on the company overall. The panelists and moderator all have specific experience with respect to such crises and bring a range of corporate director, regulatory, and legal expertise. This program should be of particular interest to students of general business and of corporate and securities law.

Event report [PDF] 

Program [PDF]


The Honorable Cynthia A. Glassman, Senior Research Scholar, ICR


Alan Beller, Executive Director, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
John Olson, Founding Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Lawrence Trautman, Professional Corporate Director 
Laura Unger, Special Adviser, Promontory

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