Sonakshi Kapoor focuses her practice in the area of litigation and regulatory law. Bringing her experience advising international organizations, governments in the Asia Pacific region, and private sector clients on business and human rights issues, she regularly advises clients on sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy and opportunities.
She assists clients with operational decision making and the development and implementation of ESG corporate policies and processes including corporate human rights programs, global supply chain due diligence, human rights assessments, materiality assessments, compliance assessments, and board level communications. She advises a broad range of general manufacturing, technology, life sciences, and financial services clients. Sonakshi also supports the firm’s Environmental Justice (EJ) practice and assists regulated entities in complying with emerging policies and regulations to improve access to federal benefits and funding and address enforcement scrutiny by federal departments.
Sonakshi’s ESG practice focuses on emerging US and global regulations addressing sustainability due diligence practices, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), sustainability frameworks such as World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) Corporate Human Rights Benchmarks, GRI and SASB standards, California Transparency in Supply Chain Act 2016, and the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act 2021 (UFLPA). She leans into her experience advising the UN Human Rights Commission (OHCHR) and International Labor Organization (ILO), governments in the Asia Pacific region, and private sector clients on business and human rights issues.
Dual-qualified in California and India, Sonakshi’s international background informs her deep understanding of cross-cultural nuances in matters with cross-border implications. Sonakshi leads the Global Shapers – Oakland Chapter with the World Economic Forum. She is an Executive Committee member of the California New Lawyers’ Section (NLS) and the NLS liaison to the Real Property Law Section (RPLS) of the California Lawyers’ Association (CLA).
Sonakshi is fluent in two languages, English and Hindi, and understands Punjabi.
RECENT SIGNIFICANT REPRESENTATIONS
BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS, AND ESG
- Advised a Real-Estate Investment Trust (REIT) on their ESG considerations and policies related to their supplier relationships and compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act 2021 (UFLPA) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
- Advised a global building materials manufacturing company on supply chain due diligence with a focus on modern slavery and forced labour,
- Advised a prominent multinational corporation engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of footwear and apparel on their ESG considerations, child safeguarding policies, and anti-bribery anti-corruption compliance processes.
- Advised an education and learning technology solutions company on their ESG materiality assessment according to GRI, SASB, and TCFD.
- Advised a multinational corporation focussed on the manufacturing of aerospace, building technologies, performance materials and technologies, and safety and productivity solutions on their Environmental Justice strategy and compliance with emerging federal policies and state regulations.
WASTE MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY
- Represented a major hotel brand in a District Attorney waste management enforcement matter related to properties in California, and advised on appropriate waste management practices and policies for implementation and tracking.
- LL.M., University of California at Berkeley with Specialization in International Law (High Honors)
Member, Editorial Board, Berkeley Journal of International Law
- 2021 Super Lawyer Rising Star in Civil Litigation in Northern California
- Provided virtual assistance to immigration clients applying for change of status from Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) to Lawful Permanent Resident status.
- "Sustainability standards setter seeks input on draft GRI Standards for agriculture, aquaculture, fishing and coal," July 1, 2021
- "Sustainable Seafood in the ESG Spotlight," June 28, 2021
- "Global corporate benchmarking group seeks inputs on corporate human rights standards," June 22, 2021
- "Clarifying the Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights – Pillar II," LinkedIn, 2019
- "Compendium of environmental justice policies and actions in the Biden Administration,” Gwen Keyes Fleming, Paul Wierenga, Sonakshi Kapoor and Michael Nagelberg, American Law Institute CLE presentation, February 16, 2023
- Panelist, 2023 UC SF, School of Law Comparative Panel on the Future of Environmental Disclosures: Comparison of the EU and United States – Comparative Panel of ESG Securities Disclosure Requirements
- Moderator, 2021 UN South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights – Human Rights Impact of Social Media Platforms
Prior to joining DLA Piper, Sonakshi worked at a boutique litigation firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. There, she appeared in state courts in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and engaged with early conflict resolution mechanisms, including mediation. Sonakshi regularly assisted clients in navigating legal disputes involving foreign jurisdictions, while helping domestic and international clients. She engaged with different jurisdictions and vastly different legal systems, particularly in Asia.
Sonakshi advised the UN Human Rights Commission and the International Labor Organization in Bangkok on business and human rights matters in the Asia Pacific region. She also advised the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Information Technology, India on business and human rights issues in the technology sector. Sonakshi advised and drafted case briefings for the 2017 annual report from Juan Mendez, the UNHRC’s Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Sonakshi has litigation experience in New Delhi, India, having appeared in trial courts, appellate courts, and the National Human Rights Commission, India. Sonakshi also assisted a senator in India on policy reforms in areas such as decriminalization of homosexuality, juvenile justice, refugee protection legislation, and foreign policy matters.
Civic and Charitable
- Executive Committee Member, California Young Lawyer’s Association (CYLA)
- CYLA Liaison for Real Property Law Section (RPLS) of CLA
- Curator (2022-2023), Global Shapers Oakland Chapter, World Economic Forum
- Co-founder and Coordinator, Young Professionals in Business and Human Rights
Memberships And Affiliations
- State Bar of California
- California Lawyers Association (CLA)
- Bar Council of Delhi, India
My latest insights
California moves to finalize laws on disclosures of GHG emissions and climate-related...
20 September 2023 .9 minute read
EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive: What US companies need to know
28 June 2023 .15 minute read