Note from the Executive Director

CBL Newsletter | Spring 2022

The start of this decade has been challenging. First, COVID-19 and its resulting economic fallout has caused significant hardship. As of this writing, there have been over 474 million reported cases globally, including over 6M deaths (approaching 1M in the US alone). The Economist has estimated that the actual death toll is over 20M people. Moreover, as we begin to resurface after two years of lock-downs due to the Pandemic, Russia has invaded Ukraine in what is considered the largest conventional military attack since World War II. For corporations, particularly CEOs, boards of directors and their counsel, this is another crisis with shifting and delicate geopolitical connotations.

According to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, from the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, over 450 Western corporations have either withdrawn from Russia, suspended or scaled back operations, or put a halt on new investments/development. Others have defied demands for exit or reduction of activities. In the legal profession, a new database by faculty from Stanford, Harvard and Yale Law Schools, entitled “Law Firms and Russian Profits” is tracking and highlighting AmLam 100 law firms’ positions on taking on new work for Russian clients or withdrawing from existing engagements.

All of this is to provide some context for our Spring 2022 semester! Despite these challenging times, we continue to build on our mission to engage with leading scholars, business leaders, practitioners, regulators and students to explore some of the latest trends impacting the business world. A few highlights:

  1. In March we announced the selection of our new CBL Scholars. We would like to thank again the amazing support of our sponsors Orrick, Gunderson Dettmer, Freshfields and DCVC, plus some leading UC Hastings alumni that have contributed individually.
  2. We will release a new website to highlight our research from the Unicorn Initiative, a joint research project that we launched last year with the Brattle Group.
  3. On April 14th Professor Jodi Short and I will be hosting the SEC on campus for a discussion on fraud enforcement in Silicon Valley, with a focus on the recent App Annie case.
  4. On May 10-11th, we will be hosting our second CBL Roundtable on Financial Policy & Regulation, co-led with Manny Alvarez (’07), a former Commissioner of the DFPI. The program will take place in Sacramento to engage with California legislators, regulators and practitioners.
  5. We have also partnered with the Latino Corporate Director Association, to support and develop new efforts to boost corporate director education.

Our plan is to keep expanding our programs and partnerships to add value to UC Hastings and the business law community, particularly in SF/Bay Area.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you are interested to learn more about CBL’s research, programs or events. If you would like to partner with us or become a CBL sponsor, please feel free to contact me directly at If you would like to donate, you can always do so in our donation link. Thank you in advance for your support!


Evan Epstein

Executive Director of the Center for Business Law, and Adjunct Professor,

UC Hastings College of the Law