Our Response to COVID-19
To our clients:
The spread of the novel coronavirus has created great uncertainty and anxiety for us all. We are focused on two things above all else: the health and well-being of our people and continuing to provide the highest level of service to our clients.
A number of our offices are in communities at the epicenter of the outbreak. That has forced us to respond quickly and relentlessly. The silver lining to being on the leading edge of the outbreak in the U.S. is that we are now capable of supporting our entire firm to work remotely and have established a broad range of policies, practices and capabilities to enable us to sustain this for some time. If you are interested in the specific steps we have taken, I have listed them below. But the purpose of this message is to find out what we can do for you because you, our clients, are the reason our firm exists.
Our business continuity foundation is in place so we can handle your ongoing needs. You can count on our lawyers and staff to be available, responsive and engaged in your company's challenges and to rally to your side in any way that would be helpful. Like many firms, we have also established a cross-practice COVID-19 response team to help clients work through the complex crush of legal and compliance issues that is growing and changing along with the pandemic. You can read more about that here. And, if you would like to talk with members of our firm leadership – lawyers or staff – about how we are handling business continuity challenges, we would be happy to do so.
I have been with DWT for almost 20 years and have been Managing Partner since 2014. I have always been struck by the sense of community that connects our employees to each other and to our clients. Over the past few weeks, I have been extremely proud of the teamwork, empathy, good nature and selflessness exhibited every day by people at every level across the firm. Within the firm, we know we'll get through this together; I hope you know that same commitment extends to you.
With best wishes,
Jeff Gray, Managing Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine
Business Continuity Measures
- As of Monday, March 16, we have instructed everyone to work remotely, except for those performing an essential function that cannot be done remotely. Thanks to the quality of our technology support, this is very few people. We are also monitoring local changes that would require further restrictions.
- Several weeks ago, we convened a virus response team made up of our senior leadership that meets daily, 7 days a week, to assess evolving conditions and initiate our response.
- We have made significant investments in technology infrastructure and enabled all employees to access our systems remotely and securely. This includes providing secure access tokens, laptops, soft phones and other necessary technology to ensure compliance with our security protocols. We have also secured three different remote audio/visual systems to provide redundancy and minimize the risk to our remote communication.
- To protect our people and reduce the risk of contributing to the spread of the virus, we have eliminated non-essential travel, cancelled all annual practice group retreats and banned in-person participation in conferences.
- To further protect people who must go to the office, we are providing transportation to ensure they don't need to use mass transit, implementing social distancing measures and working with building management to provide extra cleaning services and respond quickly to any potential exposure anywhere in the building.
- We have implemented response plans for personnel potentially exposed to the virus and developed plans in the event someone contracts the virus.