Crisis Management

Crisis management involves strategic and discerning guidance in response to a serious occurrence requiring immediate attention due to potentially significant financial, legal, and reputational ramifications. Whether the matter arises from negative media interest, a purported whistleblower’s sudden allegation, or an investigation by regulatory or criminal authorities, Gibbons has the experience to orchestrate an effective approach that will best contain the problem, respond appropriately, and remedy the situation. At all times, the Gibbons Crisis Management Team remains focused on the crisis at hand to allow our clients to maintain their attention to business operations and minimize resulting business interruption.

Gibbons has trained attorneys, including former prosecutors, judges, and state and federal executive and legislative staffers, who are skilled in assisting clients with crises that threaten personal and business interests. We adeptly interact with regulatory agencies, government leaders, and enforcement agencies in the course of our representation. Our lawyers counsel individual clients, company executives, and boards of directors on their responses to crises and their adjustments, policies, and procedures to avoid future problems. Gibbons provides advice that spans the legal, media, business, and political spectra, with attorneys from our business litigation, criminal defense, government affairs, and related practice areas well-positioned to contribute to a cohesive, client-focused strategy in each matter, be it civil or criminal litigation, regulatory compliance, or government investigation.

Areas of Focus

Crisis Communications

Team members are experienced in effecting media strategies to shape the public perception, drive the conversation, and achieve clients’ intended goals. Our attorneys guide clients’ in-house public relations staffs, draft media releases and speeches, develop proactive media events to generate positive coverage, and provide crisis communications counseling. We draft media protocols governing clients’ handling of press inquiries, media statements for release by clients, Q&As for board members, and internal communications documents for stakeholders. Most significantly, we position the client’s “message” such that the resulting media coverage casts the client in a positive light. When necessary, Gibbons will employ experienced public relations firms to assist in certain strategies. But in so doing, our lawyers structure each relationship with a keen eye on preserving the attorney-client privilege, which uniquely sets Gibbons’s crisis management lawyers apart from non-legal public relations experts.

Industry Range

Gibbons has demonstrated effectiveness in managing clients’ crises for more than 90 years. We have handled significant crises on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, financial services firms, pharmaceutical and laboratory companies, telecommunications outfits, government contractors, and nonprofits, among many others.

For example, Gibbons lawyers have guided numerous corporations and corporate officers accused of violations and crimes threatening their reputation and employment. In the financial services industry, Gibbons Team members have represented firms, boards, and executives in whistleblower situations, unannounced audits, and unexpected regulatory focus. The Team also has been sought to provide guidance upon discovery of regulatory rules violations that require prompt containment, coordinating the necessary response and providing efficient remedies going forward, including the implementation of procedures to best ensure future compliance.

In addition, the Gibbons Crisis Management Team is active on behalf of pharmaceutical, medical device, and laboratory clients. We provide crisis management counsel involving product safety issues, such as recalls, retesting programs, and additional government regulatory action. After managing a crisis – or, in the best case scenario, before a crisis hits – we conduct comprehensive audits to prepare the client to avoid future issues, beginning at the product development and marketing stages, during which we evaluate labels, warnings, packaging, manuals, and other hazard communication media for completeness, effectiveness, and compliance with federal and/or state requirements. Based on our audit, we design and implement a comprehensive plan for the client going forward, which recommends revisions to the literature, as well as policies and procedures to maximize compliance and minimize the risk of a high-profile crisis, with all its inherent fallout.