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Crisis management: the role of the in-house lawyer

When a crisis occurs it can be an extremely challenging time for a business. A crisis could unfold internally or externally and either way—the response has to be proactive and swift.

As part of the response, the in-house lawyer will inevitably face some difficult decisions. Issues and concerns will need to be immediately identified as to which should carry the most weight and which should take a back seat.

In an article for Thomson Reuters Practical Law In-House Blog, Nick Watson, the Senior Legal Counsel and Regional Counsel, Europe and Africa, at Control Risks, outlines his advice for in-house lawyers for preparing and dealing with a crisis management situation.

While you may not know exactly what type of crisis is likely to ensue, Watson said that, ‘planning is perhaps the most critical factor in successful crisis management.’

“You may never know exactly what you’re planning for, but you still need to plan. This is perhaps the most critical factor in successful crisis management. A multitude of trigger events can be anticipated even if you cannot tell for sure what sort of crisis might ensue. So you should prepare as best you can,” Watson said.

The path of a crisis can be difficult—if not impossible to predict. The dangers of the loss of control of a situation can result in incoherent and irrational responses, so a proper plan will provide an adaptive framework which will enable more reasoned and measured decisions to me made.

To read Watson’s crisis management advice in full, visit the In-House Blog.

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