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Coping with Corona: Tips from Prague for Lawyers and Law Firms Around the World

19/03/2020

Based on our experience, we recommend the following checklist to lawyers from countries not fully affected by covid-19 (yet). Do the  following NOW. You will not have time later:

1. Internal tips:
- Make sure everyone can work from a distance (remote access, VPN, phones, stipend for office supplies etc).
- Check your deadlines. Prepare for court or government closures? Plan ahead. Make sure you can meet statutes of limitations etc.
- Start working from your home office as soon as possible; you will detect things to improve.
- Be ready for requests for advance payments.
- Provide equipment for everybody if you can manage (masks, gloves, disinfectant).
- Follow CDC and OSHA guidance on workplace recommendations, adhere to at least the minimum standards
- Keep employees informed, and provide support for them - www.who.int is a good source.
- Disinfect phones and keyboards daily, as well as any other surface of high contact, open windows regularly, if you can.

2. External tips:
- Will courts allow you to appear by video or telephone?
- Will shipments be affected, affecting your ability to meet deadlines? Is E-filing an option?
- Can you excuse yourself from a court appearance through an emergency motion?

 

3. Typical questions from clients:
Be ready to inform your clients via blogs and other communication channels especially these questions:
- Can I get insured against the risks related to covid-19?
- How to put employees on hold? How can I reduce their salary?
- How to transfer employees to other work?
- How to terminate agreements in a force majeur situation?
- Any subsidies from public funds?
- How to get ready for bankruptcy now?
- Any possibility to terminate (or separate) risky activities in the companies on a short notice?

Propose to your clients to look for synergies with other people. Society will be divided to those who have no work and those who are overloaded (for example tour operators with cars and drivers on hold can work for online shops delivering food etc.) 

Keep optimism, support others and look for new opportunities. It will be over someday.