We understand that each crisis is unique and each one requires a variety of skill sets. For these reasons, our team combines the experience of Vorys attorneys with the skills of on-staff strategic communication professionals. When necessary, the team also calls upon our government relations advisors.
The best crisis is one that the public never hears about. We have a breadth of experience assisting our clients in planning for and mitigating potential crises, oftentimes defusing them before they hit the headlines or airwaves. However, some crises are inevitable and – through our team approach – we work hand-in-hand with your organization’s executives to react in a manner that best resolves the situation. We understand the importance of careful timing and a coordinated response.
Our crisis team includes a number of attorneys and professionals who have spent their careers mitigating crises. Our crisis team leader, Chad Reynolds, has more than 20 years of experience serving as in-house counsel for public companies, including as general counsel and chief legal officer for two SEC-registrant public companies and deputy general counsel of a third public company. Charles “Chaz” Billington, who focuses on employment, HR- and union-related issues, worked as an assistant general counsel at Parker-Hannifin Corporation and as the VP of HR at a large financial services company. In addition, we regularly call upon other Vorys attorneys who have devoted countless hours to the industry in which the crisis has occurred; this has proven invaluable as we navigate the relevant issues.
Vorys’ clients also benefit from the breadth of experience our attorneys bring to mitigating and responding to crises. Our privacy and data security team has worked with numerous companies for more than a decade to keep their data safe and abide by constantly changing domestic and global regulations. To ensure our clients are protected from the ever present threat of data breaches, ransomware, and cyber extortion, yet prepared to quickly and effectively respond to cyber security incidents when they occur, our team provides a 24/7 emergency hotline (833.525.2100) to address issues as soon as they arise.
In addition to our data-focused services, we also provide a wide range of teams devoted to addressing urgent crisis-related matters. Our workplace safety team offers strong experience in the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and all claims against employers related to the physical and mental health of employees. Vorys attorneys also provide ample experience in corporate governance crisis management, including preparing for and responding to shareholder activism and takeover efforts.
Oftentimes, a client’s public response to a crisis has as much impact as the crisis itself. We have on-staff strategic communication professionals who work alongside our attorneys to ensure our clients are considering all angles, including potential media coverage. These former journalists have coordinated media outreach, guided internal and external communications, prepared reactive statements, and provided media training to clients. If desired, they also work with your in-house or contracted PR professionals. We also have a network of public relations firms we can confidently recommend to our clients.
The crisis team also works directly with Vorys Advisors, the firm’s government relations subsidiary, to help navigate both the regulatory and political landscapes. Our Vorys Advisors team includes former Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R), Karen Cincione, David Hoeffel and former Ohio State Senator Lou Gentile (D).
We have handled countless crises across dozens of industries. A few of these industries have included:
- Health care
- Oil and gas
- College and universities
- Defense contractors
We have also advised our clients through a seemingly endless list of crises involving a variety of situations. Some of these crises have included:
- Data breaches
- Internet attacks/defamation
- Workplace catastrophes/injuries
- Employee misconduct
- Natural disasters
- Facility closures/moves
- Labor issues/reductions in force
- Environmental hazards
- Government affairs
- Embezzlement/workplace theft
- Customer deaths/injuries
- Corporate governance issues
- Regulatory investigations
- Litigation defense, including class actions