After over a year in COVID-19 lockdown, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As of this writing, more than 1.18 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, with about 247 million vaccinations in the US (~44% of population) and 72% of SF residents over 16 receiving at least one dose. But despite the hardships from the pandemic, business has carried on and 2020 was a record year, including 457 new IPOs that raised $167.8 billion. From this total, there were approximately 100 California-based companies that raised almost a quarter of those dollars. Locally, the CA governor’s office projects that revenue from capital gains taxes next fiscal year will top $18 billion, a key driver of the state’s surplus (and the final number could be much larger). But while business remains a driving force in the economy, the corporate mantra has shifted from shareholder primacy to stakeholder capitalism, where the purpose is to serve the interests of customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.
At the UC Hastings Center of Business Law we have been engaging with leading scholars, business leaders, practitioners, regulators and students to explore some of the latest business trends impacting SF/Bay Area companies, from public companies to startups, including matters such as ESG, IPOs/SPACs/Direct Listings, bankruptcies, compliance, venture capital, crypto, and more.
Early on we decided to tackle the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in corporate law by creating the CBL Scholars Program, a merit award created to develop a new generation of future leaders in business law. In mid-February we announced the two inaugural CBL Scholars, thanks to the support of UC Hastings alumni and law firms Orrick and Gunderson Dettmer. These law firms not only committed significant funds to support this program but will also provide mentorship and programming support. We are also excited to announce that DCVC, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has joined as the latest partner of this program. Our goal is to select two CBL Scholars on an annual basis, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you’re interested to learn about how your firm or institution can join as a sponsor. If you’d like to donate on an individual basis, you can always do so via our donation page.
As things “open up” post-Pandemic, we are planning to host new programs and events starting in the Fall on campus to add value to UC Hastings and the business law community of the SF/Bay Area. As always, if you would like to reach out to discuss one or more of these initiatives, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director of the Center for Business Law, and Adjunct Professor,
UC Hastings College of the Law