Agenda Quotes Lucas Torres on Litigation Disclosures for Public Companies Facing Workplace Claims

Lucas Torres, corporate partner at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the Agenda article “Boards Cornered in Toxic-Workplace Claims.” The article examines the issue of litigation disclosures for public companies facing workplace claims such as sexual harassment and whether, even if not mandated to make those disclosures, companies should still do so in order to sufficiently inform investors, employees and customers.

As the article reports, failure to make certain disclosures can add to the impact on a company from claims about a toxic work environment, including declining stock prices, damaged reputations and difficulty hiring. Disclosing litigation even when not required, the article adds, may be necessary to avoid the perception that a company tried to hide certain allegations.

Torres said companies should ideally put aside concerns about the potential for headlines as they consider whether disclosures are required. A company’s desire to control the story may also factor in. “I think there are situations where a company may want to be out in front of the issues in talking to investors, analysts and the media, and so they want to report that information,” he pointed out. “It may just [be that] public relations and investor relations require it.”

Torres added that it can be a “dance” to get information about litigation out in disclosures without also prejudicing arguments in the case. “It’s a delicate balancing issue between saying too little and saying too much.”