Tim Powers in Wall Street Journal, Law360: Corporate America Races to Respond to a Crisis That Upends Work

03/09/2020

The Wall Street Journal and Law360 quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Managing Partner Tim Powers in an article about how businesses are attempting to minimize business disruption as coronavirus continues to spread.

Here is an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal:

Employers are implementing contingency plans, from dividing teams across locations to limiting visitors, as the spread of the novel coronavirus is starting to upend basic expectations about the safety and sustainability of office work.

The moves, designed to minimize disruption to businesses while protecting workers, range from advising colleagues to stand at least 6 feet apart, to requiring that people register their personal travel plans with their employers. While some companies have done emergency planning, the virus’s breadth and speed are posing challenges still hard to anticipate, executives said.

Haynes and Boone LLP, a corporate law firm with 14 U.S. offices and branches in London, Shanghai and Mexico City, in 2015 developed contingency plans for everything from natural disasters to civil unrest. Timothy Powers, managing partner, said those plans were put to the test by Hurricane Harvey, which temporarily closed the Houston office in August 2017, and the earthquake in Mexico City the following month.

Those events helped prompt the firm to roll out even more new technology aimed at making it easier for attorneys to work across offices at any time. Now, 80% of Haynes and Boone’s roughly 600 lawyers have a tech setup at home that is identical to the one they have at work, down to a four-digit phone extension, videoconferencing capabilities and protected access to legal documents.

To read the full article, click here.

Here is an excerpt from Law360:

Firms have created new task forces to deal with clients' coronavirus-specific issues. Partner retreats have been canceled. Lawyers have had to cope with travel restrictions, investigation slowdowns and courtroom interruptions.

Another area being hit by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is business development, although its impact on the pipeline of work may not immediately be apparent, experts said.

“We are also allowing our employees who travel regularly to suspend travel domestically or internationally, if they so desire,” Tim Powers, Haynes and Boone’s managing partner, said in a statement to Law360.

To read the full article, click here. (Subscription required)

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