Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain Compliance

Companies with multinational operations or complex supply chains face increasing regulatory and public scrutiny concerning the social and environmental impacts of their business.  Cahill advises such companies and their board committees in navigating the legal and reputational risks that relate to supply chain compliance, corporate philanthropy, environmental impact, and labor practices.  

Cahill’s Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) practice is at the intersection of our experience in crisis management, internal investigations, securities litigation, enforcement defense, and designing compliance programs.  Whether it is in response to a media inquiry, government information request, or as part of a proactive compliance review, Cahill has guided numerous companies across a range of sectors in identifying compliance risks and implementing CSR best practices.

Supply Chain Compliance

The regulatory and reputational scrutiny faced by companies relating to their inventory sourcing comes on a number of fronts.  We have experience helping companies exercise appropriate oversight of various levels of their supply chains, including the development of standards for suppliers and providing strategies for monitoring suppliers’ compliance with company policies.  We also have experience conducting sourcing-related risk assessments and advising clients on compliance with the reporting requirements of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the U.K. Modern Slavery Act.  

Recent Experience

Our recent experience includes:

  • Conducting an investigation on behalf of a multinational retailer into sourcing relationships in Southeast Asia which were the subject of international media attention and regulatory scrutiny. We also assisted the retailer in redesigning and implementing its global responsible sourcing compliance program to ensure increased visibility into suppliers throughout its supply chain.
  • Representing a group of U.S. apparel retailers in an investigation by an activist NGO into potential violations of foreign labor and environmental regulations in the retailers’ indirect supply chain.
  • Advising the operations of a Latin American agribusiness Company in detecting entities in its supply chain that may be sanctioned by the U.S. government for connections to narcotics trafficking.

Socially Responsible Corporate Compliance Programs

Large companies frequently face CSR scrutiny concerning their corporate philanthropy programs, worker safety, and environmental and social impacts on the communities where they operate.  In addition to challenges associated with meeting the corporate citizenship expectations of customers and other stakeholders, corporate outreach often brings regulatory risk.  For example, corporate charitable donations are a significant risk area for a compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable anti-corruption laws. 

We counsel clients on governance structures for responsible business conduct and engage stakeholders to improve brand reputation when our clients are confronted with a crisis.  Cahill’s work includes advising on due diligence of counterparties and assessing the social, environmental, and regulatory impacts of current or proposed operations.   

Representative Experience

Our recent experience includes:

  • Advising a multinational retailer in developing, implementing, and testing corporate giving procedures for donations to NGOs and government entities worldwide. Our work addressed potential anti-corruption and anti-bribery concerns while also ensuring the retailer’s ability to maximize its philanthropic impact in the communities where it operates.
  • Enhancing processes through which a multinational company monitors the structural and fire safety at its physical locations worldwide.