Crisis Avoidance & Risk Management

In a crisis situation, our lawyers understand that companies can face difficulties on numerous fronts – government investigations, consumer litigation, employee relations, internal investigations, supplier relations, and public relations difficulties, to name just a few. We are well-equipped to counsel companies and their boards on all of these fronts seamlessly and with the goal of minimal interruption to business operations.
Drawing on capabilities from across the Firm, we help clients navigate the immediate issues and develop long-term solutions and exit strategies to complex, multi-faceted legal challenges. In short, we partner with our clients to integrate legal strategy into the wider framework of their current and future business objectives. We are well known for:
  • Our Cross-Practice Capabilities: Drawing on the talents of lawyers around the world in our Restructuring, Public Company Advisory Group, White Collar Defense, Regulatory and Investigations, Privacy & Cybersecurity, and Product Liability & Mass Torts practices, among others, we offer our clients the "one-stop" service they need to efficiently mobilize in response to a crisis situation.
  • Seamless Coordination of Parallel Litigation and Regulatory Investigations: We regularly manage and coordinate all aspects of legal proceedings arising out of crisis situations, including wide-ranging, multi-regulator investigations, multi-jurisdictional litigation, and sensitive internal reviews and investigations, often simultaneously.
  • Our Experience Representing Major Companies in First-of-their-Kind Crises: We have occupied center stage during some of the highest profile crises over the last several decades, navigating clients from all over the world through complex regulatory and governmental investigations, internal investigations, restructurings, and attendant civil litigation. Recently, this has included, among many others:
    • Numerous data breach incidents
    • Sensitive allegations of workplace misconduct
    • The 2015 Clean Air Act/Emissions scandal
    • The 2015 Theranos Labs blood testing scandal
    • The 2013 Lac Mégantic rail disaster in Canada
    • The 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
    • The 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
    • The 2008 Financial Crisis
    • The Cleanup Efforts Following the 2001 World Trade Center Terrorist Attacks
    • The 1993 World Trade Center Terrorist Bombing
  • Expert Management of Media Relations and Strategic Communications: Our attorneys have extensive experience coordinating media relations and strategic communications in the aftermath of large-scale crises. We regularly counsel on the legal implications of using public relations firms and managing communication with the media in the wake of a crisis. We also work with our clients to create a culture of brand management with respect to social media and all other forms of corporate communication, with the goal of preventing future crises.

Selected Representations

Willis – Stanford Financial Fraud


Lehman Brothers

Washington Mutual

CIT Group – Lac Mégantic rail disaster in Canada

SEACOR Holdings Inc. – BP Oil Spill Litigation


Thermo King – Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire Disaster

International Public Company

Johnson & Johnson

Special Committee of the Board of Massey Energy

Walgreens Boots Alliance


Chr. Hansen, Inc.

Cooper Tire

General Motors

Philip Morris USA


Key Contacts

Jonathan Polkes

Jonathan D. Polkes


New York

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Benchmark Litigation 2018

One source notes: “What Weil does very, very well is that they partner with the client and are fully engaged in both strategy planning and providing practical solutions.”

Chambers USA 2018