The COVID-19 pandemic has created a wave of urgent and complex legal issues for businesses and
individuals across the U.S. and the globe. Troutman Pepper are
helping clients prepare and respond to a host of these matters.
The COVID-19 Task Force of Troutman Pepper attorneys is available immediately
to help companies navigate this evolving crisis. Our team represents diverse practice areas and
industries, across multiple geographies. We are devoting the full breadth of our combined capabilities,
skills and experience to help clients through this crisis, including:
Health Care and Life Sciences
Health care providers, insurers and managed care companies, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and health care supply chain members are on the front lines of fighting the pandemic. We counsel these clients on how to meet the ever-evolving challenges of providing care to the sick, mitigating the future harm from COVID-19, and developing new therapies in a time of urgent need and strained resources and personnel.
The pandemic has spawned numerous corporate and commercial challenges, including corporate governance and shareholder relations issues; contract obligations amid business disruption; M&A and other business transactions during economic upheaval; tax issues, and a host of others.
Labor and Employment
We are advising clients in all industries on employment issues such as layoffs, pay reductions, job reclassifications, furloughs and terminations; workplace safety; business closures and operating restrictions; family and sick leave management (including under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act) and other benefits administration in tandem with our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation colleagues; assessing employment policies and practices against isolation, quarantine and shelter-in-place orders; and day-to-day employment counseling.
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
We are advising clients in all industries on employee benefits and executive compensation issues such as the impact of furloughs, reduced employee hours and layoffs on retirement plans and health and welfare plans; required coverage of COVID-19 testing under group health plans; impact of CARES Act provisions on retirement plans like 401(k) plans; and executive compensation considerations such as implications of CEOs foregoing their salaries and restrictions imposed by the CARES Act as a condition of certain government assistance.
Finance and Restructuring
Entities of all types are facing unprecedented financial challenges during the pandemic, and need expert guidance to overcome these challenges. We counsel our clients on all aspects of commercial finance, including workouts and loan restructuring advice, distressed asset sales, litigation and dispute resolution. We advise lenders, public and private companies, boards and other stakeholders on restructuring and bankruptcy strategies and alternatives, and other parties in interest who are navigating through this current crisis. We also advise clients on matters pertaining to assistance available from government programs, ranging from the CARES Act and Small Business Administration programs to state and local grant and loan programs.
We are advising clients regarding the Paycheck Protection Act and related SBA lending changes, regulatory changes and easing related to capital, loans and deposits, and other matters brought on by the CARES Act and other responses to the crises. We also provide strategic risk management, regulatory and operational advice to senior executive leadership of financial services providers. We also are advising clients on the tumultuous mix of executive orders, legislation and regulatory actions impacting consumer lending, credit reporting, background screening, debt collection, auto finance, mortgage lending and servicing and payment processing. In addition to helping clients navigate the regulatory and legislative requirements, we efficiently manage ongoing litigation to obtain favorable results, and develop strategies for compliantly maximizing current business operations.
From the FDA, CFPB, SEC, DOJ, FTC, FERC, DOT/PHMSA and EPA to state attorneys general nationwide, federal and state authorities have ramped up their regulatory, investigative and enforcement activities to protect consumers and the public during the pandemic while also providing flexibility for industry during this time. Whether it involves antitrust enforcement activities by the DOJ and FTC, public company and investment advisor guidance from the SEC, critical energy guidance from FERC, DOT/PHMSA and state utility commissions and agencies, consumer and mortgage lending matters, investigations and litigation by state AGs, or inquiries from the FDA, we are prepared to help our clients comply with the latest requirements and weather the storm.
The disruption to business activities and everyday life caused by the pandemic is leading to a wide range of disputes, from breach of contract to fraud, insurance coverage, securities, product liability, consumer class action, and a wide variety of other cases. Our trial-tested team of business litigators is ready to put its experience to work on behalf of clients throughout the country and the world.
Privacy and Cybersecurity
As companies shift to work-from-home and further reliance on technology, our privacy and cybersecurity attorneys apply a deep understanding of technology, the law and its practical implications, including in times of crisis, to help our clients protect and manage the security of their data and the privacy rights of others. We assist in business continuity plans, regulatory compliance and policy counseling, breach preparation and compliance counseling, incident and breach identification and response and compliance counseling, regulatory investigations initiated by state and federal governments and their agencies, and single and class-action litigation across the U.S.
Environmental and Natural Resources
We continue to advise clients on the routine environmental compliance activities, which have become extremely difficult, if not impossible, due to travel restrictions, social distancing requirements and supply chain disruptions. We also advise clients on critical updates from the EPA and other agencies tasked with safety such as PHMSA and OSHA, as well as state and local regulators, including rulemaking proceedings, deadline extensions and Agency enforcement discretion.
We advise commercial real estate clients, including developers, investors, landlords, tenants, borrowers and lenders on their legal rights and strategies as they navigate the impact of COVID-19 on transactions and projects in all phases of their life cycle.
As COVID-19 adversely impacts all aspects of the construction industry, our national construction team is actively providing construction industry clients, including owners, designers, engineers and contractors, real-time advice and counsel addressing immediate, mid-range and long-range dilemmas. While reviewing risk mitigation strategies in light of legal rights and obligations, issues presented are often capable of resolution through practical approaches and solutions. Issues recently addressed as a result of COVID-19 include disparate governmental directives, permissible construction activities, suspensions of work, delays in materials and supplies, reduced labor and other performance impacts, as well as modified health and safety requirements, employment requirements and relief, and insurance.
Federal and state governments have taken (and continue to take) emergency action to provide relief for those impacted by COVID-19. Our tax team is working to help clients understand these actions
legislative (CARE Act) and otherwise
and to advise as to what may provide the most efficient tax results for clients.
Federal and State Government Relations (Troutman Sanders Strategies)
Federal and state governments are taking rapid action through emergency declarations, Executive Orders, identifying essential businesses and passing sweeping stimulus packages to provide relief for those impacted by COVID-19. Our team is working to help clients understand the recent government actions, interface with federal and state officials and congress and advise on the policies and laws that are being put in place by the minute. We are prepared to be a resource on what has become law, what is coming next from the federal and state governments and helping clients engage directly with the government to seek support.
We employ a number of tools to facilitate collaboration with clients, including HighQ Collaborate, a secure online platform that allows us work faster and more efficiently in today’s environment. We are using HighQ and other intelligent tools to help clients assess how the pandemic impacts the risk profile of their business, and quickly build the right solutions to address those risks
Energy & Infrastructure
Our interdisciplinary team is supporting clients as they navigate the unique impacts of the pandemic to each of their businesses, investments, projects and portfolios. We are working with clients to identify and evaluate COVID-19 risks and adapt to the practical needs of their project counterparties. From our vantage point counseling utilities, developers, lenders, sponsors and other stakeholders, we are helping clients anticipate, mitigate and react to impacts – including with respect to near term construction, workforce and supply chain disruptions, but also more generally with respect to the altered landscape for equity, debt and tax equity financing and the effects of governmental policy, including the CARES Act and future federal stimulus.
Contact any member of our COVID-19 Task Force or your regular Troutman Pepper attorney for more information or assistance.