Our COVID-19 Strategy Team is advising clients on all aspects of the legal issues and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic including contractual, employment, insurance and healthcare issues. We are fielding inquiries and providing advice in a wide range of areas, including human resources, travel and transportation, immigration and border entry, hospital and healthcare operations, medical and pharmaceutical supply, FDA, food handling and preparation, OSHA, ADA compliance, data privacy, HIPAA, environmental and EPA, international transactions, shipping, supply chain and logistics, financial reporting, insurance liability, and all types of contracts and quasi-contracts. The firm has established a blog dedicated to COVID-19 issues to share pertinent information on the subject.
Contractual and quasi-contractual obligations are thrown into upheaval in the extreme circumstances of a pandemic. An unexpected and/or insurmountable obstacle in any part of a supply chain can have a devastating impact on a business’ ability to deliver on its promises. Well-written contracts can, at least, minimize problems. Poorly written contracts can expose businesses to levels of liability so severe that their very survival might be at stake. Our attorneys advise clients before, during and after crises to minimize risk, business disruption and disputes.
Employers are on the front lines of any outbreak, immediately faced with making decisions to simultaneously protect their workforce and their business while still delivering what their customers expect and deserve. Our Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration lawyers advise clients on all aspects of employer planning, sick leave and other policies, operations, liability, domestic and international travel and entry, scheduling changes, shutdowns and quarantines.
Nothing is more important than providing care to the sick and preventing illness in others, but in times of an expanding outbreak, the healthcare system’s ability to treat patients can be stretched beyond its limits. At the same time, hospitals and governments must quickly pivot to minimize a disease’s impact on their communities. The lack of space, staff and essential supplies are just some of the existential threats that healthcare providers face. Our attorneys have been advising on preparations in the months prior to the pandemic reaching the United States and continue to counsel hospitals, health systems and others daily as the situation rapidly evolves.
The level of claims and losses coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic may be unprecedented. From the inability to fulfill contractual obligations to cancellations and closures for the sake of public health, the financial impact―and the insurance industry’s role within that―will be interpreted and contested for years to come. Specific terms, conditions and provisions in policies are immeasurably consequential. We have lawyers who have dedicated their careers to insurance coverage and the disputes that can follow, advising clients attempting to prepare for the unforeseen and managing the aftermath of the unforeseeable in the United States and around the world.
In the first few months of the COVID-19 outbreak, multiple regulatory agencies and governing bodies have revised requirements, both temporarily and permanently, in attempts to help the public and minimize adverse situations that will inevitably develop. This will continue to evolve at both the federal and state level. The FDA, USTR, Federal Reserve, FDIC, CFPB, OCC, SEC, U.S. Department of Education and others have made changes or announcements that can impact whether businesses are in compliance or are staying compliant. Our attorneys know the specifics of these changes and how these regulatory bodies operate, and counsel clients on how to prioritize their next steps in this unfolding situation.