As the COVID-19 pandemic throws businesses into a tailspin, some law firms are developing dedicated legal tech tools to address rapidly changing client needs.
Industries across the globe are still trying to wrap their minds around the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic—and legal is no exception. As law firms attempt to ramp up a series of easil digestible legal resources for clients struggling to understand their obligations in a climate dominated by lock-downs and shelter-in-place orders, some are also joining tech companies in releasing innovation solutions in response to the pandemic.
Here are three law firms that have rolled out new tech-enabled services in the face of COVID-19.
While rapid response has long been a selling point of the Mayer Brown’s crisis management team, partner Elizabeth Espin Stern indicated that keeping up with the pace of COVID-19 required a technological assist. The publicly available Global Traveler Navigator tool, for instance, repurposes the framework built for the firm’s existing Brexit decision tool to track travel, visa, quarantine or health checks around the globe. Espin Stern posited that the firm could utilize a similar “living map” format to help companies track the nuances of individual shelter-in-place orders as they unfold across the 50 states. ”We really have to be in the trenches with our clients helping them problem solve every second,” Espin Stern said. The firm also continues to dispense COVID-19 related legal guidance and analysis via a dedicated web portal and blog that were launched last week alongside the Navigator tool.
Wilson Sonsini’s tech subsidiary SixFifty unveiled its publicly available ”COVID-19 Toolset” on Wednesday featuring two solutions focused specifically on the employment-related issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. “We looked at our own COVID-19 preparedness for SixFifty and we thought ‘geez, how do you even navigate this?’ How do you transition your workforce to work remotely without running into all these other employment laws?” said Kimball Parker, CEO of SixFify. Apparently you leverage framework from an existing General Data Protection Regulation compliance tool to fast-track a questionnaire-based workflow solution that—among other things—can help identify employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and the co-workers with whom they’ve been in proximity. A second tool allows companies to automatically generate COVID-19 adjusted policies around extended sick leave, travel, telecommuting and reimbursement. Those policies were tailored with the help of Wilson Sonsini employment attorneys and designed to be broad enough to cover the vast majority of state and federal guidelines. “If there’s a new federal law that changes some aspect of working from or extended sick leave, for example, we’ll work with Wilson Sonsini to tweak the policies and update them for free,” Parker said.
In addition to it’s US COVID-19/Pandemic Special Situations Team, global law firm Dentons has rolled out a number of tech solutions geared towards helping businesses maneuver any legal complications that may arise from the outbreak. It’s online COVID-19 Hub breaks down insights on the potential economic fallout, travel bans and even the impact on real estate down by country. Along similar lines, the firm’s Global Labor and Enforcement tracker allows businesses to view how their obligations to employees differently across global markets. There’s also a webinar or force majeure for good measure.
Reprinted with permission from the March 25, 2020 edition of Legaltech News © 2020 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.