Crisis Management

Over the past few years, the American public has seen the expansion of an already hyperactive media environment, with its instant media coverage and 24-hour news cycle. Today, how a company reacts during the first 24 hours of a crisis can determine its reputation for years to come. At McGuireWoods, our clients’ reputation is our primary responsibility. Our Crisis Management team is a group experienced both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion. We can bring that experience to counseling corporations, institutions and their attorneys in the art of managing a crisis to guard both its legal interests and its reputation. If your company or organization is under investigation, the target of a lawsuit, or facing media, law enforcement or regulatory scrutiny, our Crisis Management team has the experience to see around the corner and help manage a response geared toward critical objectives.

Led by George Terwilliger, a prominent Washington litigator, former Deputy Attorney General of the United States and advisor to key political leaders who has been tested in crisis management time and again, the team’s senior members include a former two-term governor, United States Senator, and state attorney general. Our legal and policy experts have represented the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) during the “Operation Fast & Furious” scandal; guided a produce company through a high-profile national recall; and helped a public accounting firm navigate investigations and litigation related to the Enron and World Com bankruptcies.

We will help you craft a comprehensive strategy and put it in motion when you need it. Every crisis is different, but our approach helps position your business to effectively manage any crisis as it unfolds. The Crisis Management team assists clients with:

  • Managing corporate controversies and crises
  • Responding to litigation and enforcement actions
  • Promoting legislative, regulatory and other public policy changes
  • On-site crisis management
  • On-site media assistance
  • Advising attorneys on the impact court filings will have on public opinion
  • Preparation of press releases, messaging documents and collateral materials
  • A depth and range of experience at every level of litigation, whether civil or criminal

We offer particularly broad resources to assist with crisis and litigation communications strategies that protect and enhance your brand, protect shareholder value, and minimize damage to individual reputations − and ultimately your bottom line. The message delivered in the boardroom and the courtroom should be coordinated with the message delivered on the courthouse steps. As your lawyers and media consultants, we will help shape public messages to minimize your exposure to legal liabilities in order to preserve your reputation long after the crisis is over.