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Crisis Practice

When a crisis strikes, the initiating incident cascades quickly into many issues with serious legal, business and communications consequences. In these viral situations, companies need experienced Board-savvy lawyers who partner with crisis communications professionals to provide a strategic and integrated approach. King & Spalding works to combat, navigate and mitigate these immediate multifront challenges while anticipating and accounting for longer-term liabilities like loss of shareholder confidence.

We stand out among premier law firms in this space. Global companies and boards seek us out to navigate existential threats, ranging from:

  • Cyber intrusions and data breaches
  • Product safety issues
  • Catastrophic explosions, fires and chemical releases
  • High-profile environmental investigations and enforcement
  • Activist investor attacks
  • Workplace violence
  • Pandemics
  • #metoo violations
  • Government investigations

When we take on such matters, we draw on our breadth of practices and industry-specific knowledge to provide clients with bespoke solutions. While our team has over 40 years’ experience effectively tackling these high-stakes scenarios, we fully recognize that there is no “off-the-rack” solution.    As we develop our strategy, our clients are assured they will receive:

A multifaceted integrated approach. As a crisis unfolds, our team stays ahead of new and escalating challenges while maintaining a critical endgame perspective. We identify and navigate legal, regulatory, legislative, and commercial risks and needs with clients’ key stakeholders front of mind.  These include C-suite executives, the board, investors, employees, neighbors, and customers as well as regulators, potential jurors, and lawmakers. To do so, we marshal our in-house resources, such as our Discovery Center document preservationists, financial analysts, white hat hackers, experts in insurance and others.  We also enlist and collaborate with leading crisis communications professionals and forensic experts from the earliest moments of an event to limit legal risk, minimize reputational harm, reduce collateral damage and work toward a client’s speedy return to normal operations.

An elite team. Our Crisis Practice consists of experienced advisors to boards and senior executives.  Among its members are the former heads at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Food and Drug Administration, the former director of National Intelligence, former U.S. attorneys, senior officials at DOJ, Securities Exchange Commission, the former Assistant Administrator for the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, several former senior members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bi-partisan elected officials, and prominent corporate governance leaders. In addition, members of our team hold certifications or degrees in technical areas relevant to specific types of crises (e.g., certified ethical hackers, engineers, etc.) and have experience acting as spokespersons for organizations through periods of crisis. Lawyers in this practice have been leading responses to crisis events and have the skills and poise required to guide clients thoughtfully through the predictable and unpredictable developments that emerge during a crisis response.

Just as we are adept at “putting out the fire” and containment after a crisis has unfolded, our team also regularly helps clients prepare for the unexpected and mitigate potential risk factors. We do so through audits, compliance gap analysis, wellness checks, tabletop exercises and implementation of best practices for risk management. We also help clients, post-crisis, to recover, utilize lessons learned and establish safer ways for going forward.

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