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Governor Signs AB 361 Benefit Corporation Legislation

Governor Brown signs Wendel Rosen-backed bill to spur creation of Benefit Corporations. Wendel Rosen partner Donald Simon co-chaired legal advisory group to draft bill and champion its passage.

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 12, 2011 – Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 361 on Monday, Oct. 10 to spur the creation of high-quality jobs in California through benefit corporations.  The legislation offers California businesses the choice of organizing as a new class of corporation that meets a higher level of corporate responsibility called benefit corporations.  While companies organized under the state’s general corporate law are required to attribute highest importance to its profits, benefit corporations must consider impacts on society, employees and the environment, as well as profits, and have the freedom to prioritize these at their discretion.  They must also pursue the creation of a material positive impact on society and the environment while simultaneously meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency.

Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean actively supported the bill.  In 2010, the firm earned B Corporation Certification from B Lab (www.bcorporation.net), the organization that sponsored the legislation.  Wendel Rosen Partner Donald Simon co-chaired the legal advisory team that drafted the legislation and championed its adoption.

“I have been devoted to creating the framework necessary to motivate businesses into becoming the engines of sustainability, by creating business models that provide social, environmental and economic contributions.  AB 361 helps accomplish this,” said Simon, a renowned Bay Area attorney who has been a trailblazer in driving businesses toward environmental and social responsibility.  “This legislation will facilitate greater legal and market recognition for businesses that do well while doing good – a value my firm has long exemplified and something we should all support.”

For the full press release issued by B Lab, click here.

About Wendel Rosen
Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP serves a diverse clientele of business, public and individual clients located throughout California and the United States.  With offices in Oakland and Modesto, California, the 102-year-old firm advises clients on transactional and civil litigation matters in several related fields of law, including real estate; business/corporate; construction; creditors’ rights/bankruptcy; eminent domain; employment; environmental; estate planning, trusts and probate; green business; insurance; intellectual property; land use; taxation; and technology.  In 2003, the firm became the first law firm in the country to gain third-party certification as a green business and has won numerous recognitions for its leadership in the green economy.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.wendel.com.

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