Corporate Governance

Broadly Experienced Advisers

Davis Polk is among the handful of law firms to which the world’s leading enterprises turn for their most sensitive corporate governance advice.


  • A group of hedge funds submits a shareholder proposal demanding sweeping structural changes. Should you seek exclusion? Prepare for a proxy contest? Negotiate?
  • Board members are the targets of sophisticated?"withhold" campaigns?using electronic forums and websites to spread the activist's message.?
  • Faced with a high-stakes government investigation, a board is wrestling with whether and how to play an independent role in the process.?
  • A board seeks to arrange?a graceful CEO transition?while avoiding the public uncertainty of a premature disclosure.?
  • One or more directors are at odds with other members of the Board.? They are seeking changes?in Board processes and separate advisers.?
  • A financial institution’s?board?is under pressure from the SEC to disclose a particular risk, and under pressure from?banking regulators?not to make the same disclosure.?
  • A?compensation committee?is struggling to walk the line between appropriate disclosure of incentive compensation targets and protection of competitively sensitive data.

These are all, at heart, corporate governance problems. They cut across a variety of legal disciplines. They involve detailed rules but also general principles like the business judgment rule. They can be highly influenced by personalities and institutional history. And the stakes are often very high.

Briefing: Governance

Our blog reports on current topics in environmental, social and corporate governance, securities law and executive compensation.

Davis Polk Corporate Governance Blog >


  • Chambers USA?–?Band 1?among New York law firms in Environmental Transactions, 2004-2019
    • Clients note,?"They have incredible experience and depth of resources, and they win clients over with their top-notch service and knowledgeable practitioners."
  • U.S. News & World Report “2019 Best Law Firms” – Recognized as a top Environmental Law firm nationally and in New York City

Most of our corporate governance partners are listed among the very best practitioners in their fields by legal guides such as?Chambers,?Legal 500?and?IFLR1000.