When Governor John Kitzhaber signed House Bill 2296 into law last week, Tonkon Torp attorneys Marco Materazzi and Jeffrey Cronn (pictured below, at left) were on hand for the ceremony. The two business lawyers played an active role in crafting the Oregon legislation which allows a company to elect to obligate itself to making a material positive impact on society and the environment, and to meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency.
The Benefit Company legislation provides an alternative corporate status for business owners who are interested in using their company to address social or environmental issues. Based on their expertise in Oregon corporate law and contributions to prior related initiatives, Cronn and Materazzi were asked to join a working group assembled by Secretary of State Kate Brown to draft proposed Benefit Company legislation.
Cronn has chaired Tonkon Torp’s Business Department since 2008. In his transactional and corporate practice, he counsels public, private, private equity and nonprofit entities regarding mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, general business matters, financing options, corporate reorganizations and equity ownership disputes . Materazzi, whose practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance, has significant experience advising clients on corporate governance and entity formation issues, among other matters.
The new legislation was welcomed by elected officials and business leaders in Oregon. “Many young people today want to start businesses, but they also seek to incorporate their social values into the enterprise. This bill will allow companies to grow and thrive in Oregon,” said Secretary of State Kate Brown.