Crisis Management Firm
Crisis Management Lawyers Protecting Companies in Challenging Times.
When a crisis occurs, corporate executives need strategic legal guidance. They need to make informed decisions, and they need to ensure that the reasoning behind those decisions is protected under the attorney-client privilege. This means that they need to engage outside crisis management counsel, and they need to do so promptly.
The crisis management lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. are fully equipped to provide corporate entities and their executives with both reputational and legal protection. In many instances, these concerns go hand-in-hand. We always strive to create effective crisis management plans for our clientele and with a nationwide network of federal defense lawyers and crisis management consultants, we can get to work immediately, and we can leverage our proven response capabilities to insulate our clients from unnecessary consequences.
About Oberheiden P.C.’s Crisis Management Lawyers
Oberheiden P.C.’s Crisis Management team is led by founding attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden. Dr. Oberheiden has represented clients across the country facing federal investigations and other high-stakes matters. This includes corporations and corporate executives, as well as doctors and other licensed professionals, elected and appointed government officials, and other high-profile individuals.
Other members of our Crisis Management Team include former U.S. Attorney Joe Brown, former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Senior Trial Attorney John W. Sellers, and Corporate Compliance Consultant Chris Anderson. We also have local counsel available in jurisdictions across the country, and this nationwide footprint allows us to provide immediate, on-the-ground crisis response services in major cities from New York to Miami to Portland.
We Serve as Outside Legal Counsel for All Types of Corporate Crises
We serve as outside crisis management counsel or a crisis manager for all types of corporate crises. Corporate crises can arise under a broad range of scenarios; and, while it is sometimes possible to see crises coming, most are entirely unexpected. This makes responding swiftly and effectively critical, as companies and their executives will often be playing catch-up in the early stages of their crisis response.
Some examples of the types of matters our Crisis Management firm handles include:
- Corporate Theft or Fraud – Corporate theft and fraud can have immediate and substantial repercussions. In these scenarios, it is critical to quickly ensure that the theft or fraud is isolated and does not present an ongoing threat. When an incident involves confidential information, trade secrets, or other proprietary assets, containing the situation and re-securing the company’s assets takes on heightened importance.
- Cybersecurity Breaches – Cybersecurity breaches present risks for government enforcement action, class action litigation, loss of business, and loss of shareholder value. All of these are risks that must be managed effectively throughout the execution of the company’s breach response protocol. From breach notifications to dealing with federal authorities and making strategic decisions in anticipation of litigation, our Crisis Management team assists companies with all aspects of cybersecurity breach response.
- Federal Investigations – Federal investigations targeting allegations of securities fraud, tax fraud, bribery and corruption, government contract fraud, healthcare fraud, and other civil and criminal violations can present risks for substantial liability exposure. In some cases, they can threaten companies’ viability as a going concern. In criminal cases, executives can face substantial fines and prison time as well, and the company and its executives must execute a coordinated and strategic response with the assistance of outside crisis management counsel.
- Negative Media Coverage – From stock slumps to purported business relationships with persona non grata, in today’s world negative media coverage can negatively impact companies’ reputations and bottom lines. When facing negative media coverage, it is often in companies’ best interests to work with, rather than against, the media, but this requires contacts and a strategic, forward-thinking approach.
- Publicized Allegations – Publicized allegations of insider trading, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and other wrongs can have similar effects. Our Crisis Management team works to keep our clients’ legal matters confidential whenever possible; and, when it is necessary to respond to publicized allegations, we take a proactive, strategic, and fact-based approach while working to favorably resolve the underlying allegations in parallel.
Crisis Management: From a Compliance Officer’s Perspective
Chris Anderson, former Vice President of Compliance for a major healthcare system and former Chief Compliance Officer for a home health services company, is a key member of our Crisis Management Firm. With decades of relevant experience, Mr. Anderson consults with companies in a broad range of industries on compliance, working closely with their compliance officers to adopt and implement effective policies and procedures.
As a member of our Crisis Management services team, Mr. Anderson also works with companies to leverage their compliance programs during crisis response. He emphasizes three critical elements of effective crisis management:
1. Use the Company’s Compliance Program
Now is not the time to throw out the playbook. To the contrary, in times of crisis, companies should rely on their documented policies and procedures to help guide them forward. Comprehensive and well-drafted compliance policies will provide clear guidance for these circumstances, and now is the time to execute—not shoot from the hip or second-guess well-reasoned decisions made in the past with this specific type of contingency in mind.
2. Don’t Forget to Look at the Bigger Picture
When facing a corporate crisis, responding to the crisis unquestionably needs to be a priority. But it should not be the priority. In other words, even in times of crisis, corporate executives must continue to look at the bigger picture. Too often, companies devote too many internal resources to crisis management; and, in doing so, they neglect their business operations and customers.
3. Compliance Officers Should Play a Central Role
Crises require companies to engage outside legal counsel. Along with allowing company executives to rely on counsel’s advice, this also ensures that all discussions and decisions regarding the crisis will be protected by the attorney-client privilege (as long as appropriate protocols and protections are in place). However, the company’s compliance officer also needs to play a central role.
Even if outside counsel is familiar with the company’s operations, the company’s compliance officer will offer unique insights as a result of his or her day-to-day involvement in the business. These insights are vital. As a result, while it will be prudent for outside counsel to manage the crisis overall (and while the company’s CEO and COO will likely have the most direct contact with the company’s lawyers), the company’s compliance officer should remain heavily involved as well.
FAQs: Corporate Crisis Management and Emergency Response
What is Crisis Management?
Crisis management is the practice of systematically responding to unanticipated events that present catastrophic risks for companies and their executives. During crisis management, corporate executives work with the company’s outside counsel to identify and do a risk assessment, evaluate potential response strategies and defenses, and then execute a crisis response plan that targets a specific, discrete, and favorable outcome.
When Should a Company Engage Outside Counsel for Crisis Management?
Companies should engage outside counsel for crisis management before the crisis gets out of hand. When there is a potential crisis or a crisis occurs, companies should respond quickly. Since this can happen suddenly and without warning (i.e., in the event of a government raid or a published media report), it is generally best to at least get counsel on call sooner rather than later. Experienced crisis management lawyers will know when their services are necessary, and they will advise their clients accordingly.
What are Company Executives’ Roles During Crisis Management?
Company executives can play varying roles during crisis management. A key preliminary consideration is whether any executives are implicated in the allegations underlying the crisis. If so, then it may not be in the company’s best interest for these individuals to be involved in its response. Setting this concern aside, broadly speaking, company executives will be tasked with interfacing with the company’s outside counsel while continuing to lead the companies’ business dealings and day-to-day operations.
What are the Critical Phases of Crisis Management?
While there are several ways to segment the crisis management process, it can generally be broken down into five critical phases: (i) identification, (ii) mitigation, (iii) strategizing, (iv) response, and (v) post-response. All five phases are of equal importance, as deficiencies at any stage of the crisis management process can lead to ineffective containment or loss of defense opportunities. At Oberheiden P.C., we work closely with our client’s executives during each phase to ensure that their crisis management is as effective as possible.
What are the Goals of Crisis Management?
The primary goal of crisis management is to resolve the underlying issue without any resultant liability. But companies may choose to target various ancillary goals along the way. These goals may include establishing favorable media relations, improving the company’s compliance policies and procedures, and mitigating the risk of recurrence, among others.
Contact Our Crisis Management Attorneys for More Information
If your company is in crisis, we encourage you to contact us immediately to speak with a member of our Crisis Management law firm. We serve as outside crisis management counsel for companies nationwide. To device your crisis management plan and discuss your company’s needs with one of our senior lawyers or consultants in confidence, call 888-680-1745 or send us your contact information online now.