Legal help in the wake of Coronavirus

Our Chicago business law firm advises clients across multiple industries, market sectors, and various stages in the supply chain regarding numerous Coronavirus-related issues.  Companies need to understand where the law, the virus, and their businesses intersect.  Whether in retail, entertainment, transportation, or manufacturing, as factory production slows in line with the reduction of workforces, clients should be aware of the impact the virus may have on their business supply chains.  Our Chicago business attorneys give clients legal advice based on the with the market realities of each business.

Business law:  Clients should consider having contracts carefully reviewed for potential impacts the virus could have on performance under key agreements.  We are also working hand in hand with clients in an attempt to mitigate future risks in their agreements by drafting updated terms and providing negotiation support for existing arrangements.  We are also advising business clients on how to approach the risk and reality of heavily disrupted transactions due to travel limitations, and other commercial concerns.  Our business law team has a proven track record of assisting clients with domestic and international projects, and would be happy to assist with any concerns your business may have.

Employment:  Employers need to evaluate a number of considerations while also staying on top of new government declarations and emergency response mandates.  We are preparing Coronavirus policies for employers and reviewing Disaster Planning policies to incorporate specific guidance on Coronavirus.  We are also working with employers to consider day to day operational requirements, such as whether business travel and events should go ahead and in what circumstances might an employer close its office, whether the employer must allow employees to stay home, what accommodations must be offered by law, should employees be self-quarantined if they feel unwell or have traveled abroad, and what to do about pay where an employee self-quarantines.

Loans and Financing:  With the federal government offering billions of dollars in low interest, long term business relief loans, companies may wish to consider whether an SBA loan suits their needs. Additionally, with the Federal Reserve considering an interest rate reduction to all time lows, close to zero percent, businesses may benefit from leveraging the lower interest rate for growth or refinancing higher outstanding loans.

Dispute Resolution, Collection, and Litigation:  As supply chain disruptions expand, and customer purchasing slows down due to mandatory government initiatives (such as closing restaurants and venues, and restricting travel), we will continue to work hand in hand with clients on disputes involving, suppliers, shippers, vendors, customers, and other parties, particularly in relation to force majeurebreach of contract disputes as a result of the outbreak, and non-payment issues.  Clients may also benefit from strategic advice on the potential disruption of court proceedings, as many courthouses close or begin to delay proceedings for at least 30 days.

Response Management:  Clients should consider response management and best practices in order to develop safe practices given this unique situation.  For example, see the World Health Organization’s recent 5 point advice list for the public.

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