Crisis Management and Planning


What happens in the first few hours, days, and weeks of a crisis has the potential to shape a company's future for years to come. Our Crisis Management team is immediately available to serve as your trusted advisors, not just as your lawyers. Our firm has a well-established history of guiding clients in the critical moments of a crisis—whether it involves an explosion, product recall, whistleblower accusation, data breach, accounting issue, government investigation, or another type of incident that places a company squarely in the public, legal and government arenas, and dramatically disrupts daily operations. We assemble the key people to meet your immediate crisis needs, position your long-term defense, and give you practical, business-focused advice to address every significant legal, reputational, and operational issue that the crisis affects. The firm specializes in bringing order out of chaos so you can go back to the business of running your business.

Depth of Experience

We have guided clients through some of the most high-profile and significant incidents in recent years. For example, we have been serving as lead environmental counsel to BP in responding to the crisis and aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Headline cases in which the firm played a significant role have included:

  • Deepwater Horizon,
  • American Flight 587 crash,
  • Air France Flight 447 crash,
  • Costa Concordia grounding,
  • Fen/Phen Diet Drug litigation,
  • Conservatorship of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac,
  • the Solyndra investigation,
  • the Madoff Ponzi scheme,
  • the News Corp phone hacking controversy,
  • the AIG bailout,
  • Enron,
  • tainted blood/blood transfusions,
  • meningitis deaths, and
  • E.coli contamination.

As a result, our lawyers understand the critical processes and procedures involved in managing a crisis and can help clients develop appropriate strategies for dealing not only with the lawsuits that arise from many crises, but also with government agencies and investigators, shareholders, communities and the media, while minimizing unnecessary disruptions to the supply chain or customer base.

Immediate Access to Seasoned Team

Our experience and global reach extends to virtually every industry, including defense and national security, consumer products, energy, financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and transportation. Our Crisis Management team brings to the table an integrated group of former federal prosecutors, former federal regulators, and former senior leaders at the US DOJ, Congress, SEC, FDA, EPA, CPSC, FTC, NSA, NSC, CIA, Army and Air Force, among other agencies. In addition, we have close relationships with expert forensic accountants, data preservation and analysis specialists, investigators, and public relations and "crisis communications" consultants.

Multi-Disciplinary Experience for Key Issues

Our Crisis Management team draws on a breadth of experience to address issues that may arise in a crisis situation, including:

  • environmental & toxic torts,
  • product liability and wrongful death,
  • congressional or government investigations,
  • civil and criminal investigations,
  • data breach and privacy,
  • complex litigation and class actions,
  • consumer product recalls,
  • healthcare fraud investigations,
  • national security,
  • securities investigations and corporate governance,
  • false claims and qui tam investigations,
  • antitrust investigations, and
  • employment.

Planning & Risk Mitigation

While no one ever expects a crisis to occur, being prepared is the best defense. Our attorneys help clients proactively create crisis management plans. We conduct internal audits to assess vulnerabilities and existing protocols. Then we work with clients to train employees and ensure the proper procedures and resources are in place.

While every crisis is different, the experience we bring to these matters can be invaluable in effectively managing the crisis from the outset and helping the company resume its normal course of business as quickly as possible.


BP Historic settlement of Deepwater Horizon claims

Negotiated the consent decree to settle all federal and state environmental claims related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Carnival Corporation Dismissal of all US claims involving Costa Concordia shipwreck
Acted as lead counsel for the defendants in lawsuits and appeals across the US arising from the widely-publicized January 2012 shipwreck involving the Costa Crociere cruise ship Costa Concordia.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. Data breach
Successfully represented client in a data breach involving PIN pad skimming.
CSX Corporation Anacostia River Derailment
Defended rail carrier in enforcement action for train derailment that resulted in rail cars filled with coal falling into the Anacostia River.
Pfizer/Wyeth Premarin class action suit
Won a major victory when the federal district court granted summary judgment in an antitrust class action (and related opt-out suit) brought by direct purchasers of Wyeth's leading hormone therapy product, Premarin.

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