Coronavirus Response Team

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically impacted the world over the past few months. As governments, businesses, and citizens balance public health with economic and social concerns, Nixon Peabody is playing a critical role in helping clients determine the best path forward.

Latest News

As states begin amending their shelter-in-place orders, we are guiding businesses on how to safely and successfully reopen.

Stay informed with Nixon Peabody coronavirus (COVID-19) law alerts. Read more by topic:

Our Approach

Global companies are also struggling with the effect of the virus on their businesses. Employees’ lives, supply chains, customer access, and capital markets have all been disrupted. Nixon Peabody has been providing guidance to our clients as they lead their organizations through this unprecedented situation. Our Coronavirus Response Team is made up of professionals from across the firm’s offices and practices that can provide assistance as you grapple with the entire range of virus-related issues including:

  • Contractual obligations and dispute resolution
  • Employment issues
  • Remote workforce management
  • Stimulus and relief efforts
  • Immigration and travel
  • Benefit issues after layoffs
  • Real estate
  • M&A and corporate finance
  • Environmental
  • Hospitals and health care organizations
  • Trade and export control
  • Bankruptcy and financial restructuring
  • Public finance
  • Not-for-profit
  • Securities
  • Private equity
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Wealth management

Representative Experience

Our team has experience with the legal aspects of communicable disease outbreaks, including SARS, Ebola, Zika, H1N1, and MERS. We are actively engaged in a number of matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • Representing pharmaceutical companies as they develop and commercialize COVID-19 treatment technologies
  • Advising employers as they consider the safety, health and legal issues of reopening their businesses
  • Providing guidance to businesses on how to secure coronavirus relief and stimulus funds
  • Advising companies that are  managing  disruptions to their operations and supply chains, including in mainland China, Singapore, and Hong Kong
  • Working with hospitals and health care providers on their strategies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Assisting employers in creating communicable illness response plans for their employees and workspaces
  • Advising clients on their disclosure statements for securities regarding the coronavirus infection
  • Representing clients as they consider contractual obligations in light of changing business conditions
  • Representing clients as they manage staffing levels, close locations, and execute other operational changes to their businesses

Dealmaking under quarantine: 8 private equity and M&A pros share strategies while social distancing

Mergers & Acquisitions | April 29, 2020

This Q&A roundup on dealmaking during the age of COVID-19 features Boston-based Corporate practice group leader Chris Keefe’s best practices, including reaching out to colleagues and clients to check on the hardships they may be facing and lending a hand as we all weather the storm together.

Special Considerations for Restaurants and Franchised Businesses Under the CARES Act

Modern Restaurant Management | April 29, 2020

Franchising & Distribution co-leader Keri McWilliams in Washington, DC, and Corporate associate Wes Gangi in Chicago contributed this article. Based on a recent client alert, the article covers relief programs available to the restaurants industry, food retailers, and franchisees under the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.

City's tax shortfall stems from the lack of homeownership

Crain’s New York | April 29, 2020

Cooperatives & Condominium practice team leader Erica Buckley contributed this op-ed on New York City’s real estate landscape during the pandemic, offering her outlook and appeal for affordable housing and home ownership.

Employers face a ‘minefield’ of legal issues as they prepare to reopen

The Boston Globe | April 29, 2020

This article, which looks at the potential flood of litigation as the economy reopens, quotes Boston co-office managing partner and Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns on the possibility of shareholder lawsuits at publicly-traded companies, even if companies have listed the coronavirus as a risk factor in their annual reports.

Fighting pandemic without TP requires mental toughness

New Hampshire Union Leader | April 24, 2020

Following up on last month’s Union Leader op-ed (“I didn’t have a plan, so I bought toilet paper”), Manchester Corporate partner Phil Taub wrote this article on developing resilience and mental fortitude amid the pandemic. Phil includes insights from a Marine, a Green Beret, and an Army veteran.

As COVID Imperils Deals, M&A Contracts May Include More Backstops

Women’s Wear Daily | April 23, 2020

This article about the how the coronavirus era has impacted the future of dealmaking in the fashion industry quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan.

Managing Risks That Come with Federal Funds

Corporate Compliance Insights | April 17, 2020

NP’s Christopher Hotaling, Adam Tarosky, Scott O’Connell and Colin Missett authored this article detailing key considerations for businesses to consider, given that funds under the CARES Act come with associated responsibilities for recipients, creating potential criminal and civil liability if not properly handled.

COVID-19 GC Roundtable (podcast)

American Health Lawyers Association | April 01, 2020

In this podcast, Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with three hospital general counsel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The rent: To pay or not to pay? Amid coronavirus, that is the question for business across Chicago

Chicago Tribune | April 01, 2020

In this front-page article in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner David Allswang provided comments that commercial landlords are bracing for a significant drop in rent payments in April amid the coronavirus crisis, citing anecdotal data from commercial property owners in London.

Signet furloughs workers, appoints accounting officer

JCK Magazine | March 31, 2020

This leading trade publication in the jewelry industry quotes San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Hillary Baca, who explained in a recent industry webinar why many employers prefer furloughs to layoffs during this time of economic uncertainty.

How COVID-19 is affecting affordable housing (so far)

Affordable Housing Finance | March 31, 2020

Washington, D.C. Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Richard Price shares his perspective on the early impact of COVID-19 on the affordable housing industry, including how the federal government should respond.

Five ways COVID-19 may impact the future of infrastructure and transportation

Forbes | March 31, 2020

The latest contributed column from Los Angeles Project Finance and Public Finance partner Rudy Salo looks at how the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic could alter the infrastructure and transportation landscapes.

Former United Way VP asks judge for home confinement, claims he is vulnerable to COVID-19

New Hampshire Union Leader | March 30, 2020

This article highlights the efforts of Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Deane and associate Michael Strauss to secure home confinement for their client, who is currently serving a sentence in a Merrimack County jail where a corrections officer has tested positive for COVID-19.

Industry experts Barrack, Penner sound off on the coronavirus crisis

Commercial Observer | March 28, 2020

Los Angeles office managing partner Justin Thompson, of the Affordable Housing and Real Estate practice group, says there is no modern comparison to California’s blanket moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus crisis.

Pandemic prompts urgent review of overlooked contractual clause

Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | March 26, 2020

Providence Corporate partner Adam Gwaltney weighs in on the implication of force majeure clauses, particularly in cross-border contracts. These boilerplate clauses are becoming a popular topic as businesses consider the possibility they may not be able to fill contractual obligations as a result of coronavirus.

Telehealth and COVID-19

AHLA Speaking of Health Law | March 26, 2020

Washington DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank appeared on this American Health Lawyers Association podcast to discuss how medical facilities are ramping up telehealth programs in response to the pandemic.

Employers with skeleton crews are on the hook for their safety

Bloomberg Law | March 26, 2020

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discusses some of the methods employers are using to keep essential employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak—from staggered shifts to reconfigured work spaces.

Caution required if co-op and condo boards enlist volunteers

Habitat | March 26, 2020

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley and counsel Ruben Ravago co-wrote this contributed article, based on their NP client alert, about the key issues condo boards and co-ops must consider before enlisting the assistance of volunteers during a pandemic.

Hold off or proceed?

Inside Higher Ed | March 26, 2020

Providence Complex Commercial Disputes partner Steven Richard says the lack of a fixed time frame for the completion of Title IX investigations has created uncertainty for colleges and universities during this public health crisis.

U.S. corporate crisis bailouts may prove bonanza for insider trading, new study warns

Reuters | March 26, 2020

Boston co-office managing partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, a partner in the Complex Commercial Disputes group, provides insight on a possible uptick in SEC enforcement activity in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and the new federal stimulus package.

Dated Mass. courts present risks, opportunities amid crisis

Law360 | March 25, 2020

Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, of Boston, and Litigation Department chair Scott O’Connell, of Manchester, discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the near-freeze on Massachusetts court proceedings during social distancing in the commonwealth.

Are you an essential worker? Says who? And what if you don’t think your job is worth the coronavirus risk?

Chicago Tribune | March 25, 2020

Labor and Employment deputy practice group leader Brian Alcala in Chicago talks about the advice he is giving employers whose employees feel unsafe reporting for work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Hospitals seek legal cover amid their coronavirus responses

Healthcare Financial Management Association | March 24, 2020

Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank discusses how waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have allowed hospitals to pursue flexible approaches to patient care during the wave of COVID-19 infections.

SBA loan programs available to US companies including US subsidiaries of Italian companies

Econerre | March 24, 2020

Chicago Corporate partner Charles Bernardini wrote this contributed article for an Italian publication discussing which Italian subsidiaries in the United States may be eligible for disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.

In stressed legal industry, calls for kindness during crisis

Law360 | March 24, 2020

Litigation Department Head Scott O’Connell talks to Law360 about how the unfolding coronavirus pandemic has changed the way lawyers are approaching their jobs. “There is a level of collegiality and cooperation that has been refreshing,” Scott says.

Forward Thinking Lifts Pandemic-Ready Nixon Peabody

Innovate Long Island | March 24, 2020

Long Island office managing partner Allan Cohen is quoted throughout this article that looks at Nixon Peabody’s strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the firm’s robust emergency preparedness and business continuity plans.

COVID-19, executive orders and pending condo offering plans

New York Law Journal | March 23, 2020

In her latest “Ask the Former Regulator” column, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley explains that the functions of New York government, including the Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau, are still in operation during the coronavirus shutdown, as most state employees continue to work remotely.

California ramps up tenant protections as state shuts down

Commercial Observer | March 20, 2020

Los Angeles office managing partner Justin Thompson, of the Affordable Housing and Real Estate practice group, talks about California’s proposed moratorium on commercial evictions. Justin notes that tenants who do not pay their rent may face negative contractual consequences even they are not evicted.

Coronavirus sparks demand for local telemedicine, marks turning point for the industry

Washington Business Journal | March 20, 2020

Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank talks about how a new waiver that expanded the list of video conference apps and platforms permitted under HIPAA for telemedicine could be a game-changer for the industry.

Essential or nonessential?

WHEC-TV (Rochester) | March 19, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding spoke to the local NBC affiliate via FaceTime to discuss new work restrictions announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Kim talks about employee staffing, staggered scheduling and which businesses qualify as essential.

Navigating telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic: An interview with Jill Gordon and Sarah Swank (podcast)

Inside Reproductive Health | March 19, 2020

In this podcast episode, Los Angeles Health Care partner Jill Gordon and Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank discuss new regulations around using telemedicine to reach patients in a time of community quarantines.

New York government reaches deal on coronavirus sick-leave mandate

HR Magazine (Society for Human Resource Management) | March 18, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding, Rochester Corporate partner Brian Kopp, and Long Island Labor and Employment associate David Tauster co-wrote this contributed article, based on their NP client alert, analyzing the new mandatory sick-leave deal in New York state.

Hospitals expect to feel the financial pinch from coronavirus efforts. Clinics already are.

Washington Business Journal | March 18, 2020

This article features Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank discussing how hospitals are adjusting to changes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and how many hospitals can employ lessons learned during the 2008 recession.

Phil Taub: I didn’t have a plan, so I bought toilet paper

New Hampshire Union Leader | March 18, 2020

Manchester Corporate partner Phil Taub wrote this op-ed sharing the insights of three retired Navy SEALs who talked about how people react in times of fear and anxiety, and how we can be strategic in our approach to the coronavirus outbreak.

Will COVID-19 usher in permanent restaurant paid sick leave benefits?

Restaurant Dive | March 17, 2020

Washington, DC, Franchise & Distribution partner Keri McWilliams provides extensive third-party commentary in this article about whether the COVID-19 crisis could usher in permanent paid sick leave for restaurant employees.

The Top Coronavirus Questions Health Attys Are Hearing

Law360 | March 17, 2020

This Q&A with health care attorneys quotes Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank related to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Section 1135 waivers and what they mean in practice.

Key takeaways from HUD’s FAQs on COVID-19

Affordable Housing Finance | March 16, 2020

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate Strategic Policy Advisor Deborah VanAmerongen analyzes new COVID-19 guidance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for owners and managers of HUD-assisted housing.

M&A agreements take COVID-19 in stride

The Deal | March 13, 2020

New York City Corporate partner Dick Langan discusses how parties in current M&A deals are using MAC clauses to account for the potential impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

Coronavirus sparks workplace legal questions

WXXI News | March 13, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding says that travel, communicable illness, and sick leave policies should be top of mind for employers as they adjust to the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Boston Fed message on pandemic prevention is getting through

The Boston Globe | March 13, 2020

This column features Boston Labor and Employment partner David Rosenthal discussing advice for clients who have questions about implementing work-from-home policies as part of social distancing strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Rochester Business Report

WHAM-AM (Rochester) | March 13, 2020

This story highlights Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding’s guidance on what is required of employers during the coronavirus outbreak.

One of your employees is diagnosed with coronavirus What now

CNN Business | March 13, 2020

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discusses the steps employers should take if they learn that an employee has contracted coronavirus, including reaching out to local health authorities and notifying employees, customers, and vendors.

Hospitals balance disclosure and privacy as COVID-19 spreads

Modern Healthcare | March 12, 2020

Chicago Health Care partner Valerie Breslin Montague talks about how hospitals can remain in compliance with HIPAA while executing an effective crisis communications plan related to the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to health concerns, coronavirus a legal and employment issue

The Daily Record | March 12, 2020

This coverage features the insights of Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding on how companies should address the growing coronavirus outbreak—including developing remote work guidelines and protecting the confidential health information of employees.

Rochester-area employers preparing for spread of coronavirus

Spectrum News | March 11, 2020

This coverage features the insights of Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding on how companies should address the growing coronavirus outbreak—including developing remote work guidelines and protecting the confidential health information of employees.

Why the coronavirus makes MAC clauses more important than ever

Mergers & Acquisitions | March 09, 2020

New York City Corporate partner Dick Langan, who leads Nixon Peabody’s annual survey of MAC (material adverse change) clauses in M&A deals, says the coronavirus outbreak is exactly the type of risk that such clauses are designed to address.

It's all practice groups on deck to tackle coronavirus

Law360 | March 05, 2020

This article chronicling the legal profession’s response to coronavirus mentions Nixon Peabody as one of the BigLaw firms with a dedicated coronavirus task force.

The Coronavirus checklist: Nine steps to protect your company

Bloomberg Businessweek | March 03, 2020

In this article, San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn suggests that employers coping with coronavirus impacts create a communicable illness policy that outlines what illnesses are covered, employees’ obligation to report them, and employers’ communications practices during an outbreak.

Return of the MAC? Coronavirus could be the new negotiating leverage in deals

MarketWatch | March 02, 2020

Nixon Peabody’s recent MAC survey is mentioned in this article about the impact of coronavirus on the deal-making environment, and how a range of companies and investors could leverage material adverse change (MAC) clauses to renegotiate or walk away from deals.

News 8 at Five

WROC-TV | March 02, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding talks about how employers can effectively address the coronavirus outbreak, including weighing short-term staffing needs, analyzing sick leave policies, and limiting employee travel to severely impacted areas.

Coronavirus has employers examining policies around employee illness

WHEC-TV | March 02, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding talks about how employers can effectively address the coronavirus outbreak, including weighing short-term staffing needs, analyzing sick leave policies, and limiting employee travel to severely impacted areas.

Private equity firms begin to wrestle with coronavirus risk

Wall Street Journal | February 27, 2020

Manchester Corporate partner Phil Taub talks to the Wall Street Journal about the personal and professional impact of the coronavirus outbreak on private-equity practitioners.

Businesses need to start preparing now for virus outbreak

Boston Globe | February 26, 2020

This article on local businesses’ preparation for a possible coronavirus pandemic reaching the U.S. quotes Labor and Employment practice group leader David Rosenthal, who encourages employers to be flexible with their workforces and demonstrate to employees that they are prepared.

The new coronavirus prompts businesses to rethink global travel

WXXI News | February 25, 2020

This radio interview (also available in print) features Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding discussing the steps Nixon Peabody and other businesses are taking to modify employees’ travel routines as the coronavirus spreads. Kim also explains employers’ right to tell workers to stay home if there is a possibility of infection.

Coronavirus putting crimp on firms doing business in China

Rochester Business Journal | February 21, 2020

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk authored this column about how employers with business operations in China are responding to the coronavirus outbreak and related travel restrictions. The article is based on an alert by Hong Kong Corporate partner David Cheng, Los Angeles Labor and Employment partner Benjamin Kim, San Francisco Labor and Employment senior counsel Jeffrey Tanenbaum and associate Rachel Conn, and Director of Global Strategies David Kaufman

From eyeglasses to backpacks, Bay Area firms scramble as coronavirus closes Chinese factories

San Francisco Chronicle | February 07, 2020

This article quotes Director of Global Strategies David Kaufman discussing the enormous supply chain impact from the lockdown of manufacturing and high-tech hub Wuhan, China, and its surrounding region.

Coronavirus closes China to the world, straining global economy

The Wall Street Journal | February 03, 2020

This article quotes San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discussing how employers are reacting to a wave of travel cancellations, store closures, and supply chain disruptions caused by the spread of coronavirus. Click here to read the article.

Baystate Business: Weather, wind, and the Super Bowl

Bloomberg Radio | January 31, 2020

Boston Labor and Employment partner David Rosenthal joined Baystate Business to discuss coronavirus, the flu, and the importance of employers having written communicable illness policies.

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