Six Ways to Address Crises So You and Your Clients Win

Joey Smith, Williams MullenFrom the new February issue of Originate, at in an article by Barry M. Schneider: 

During the last few months of 2008, crises were threatening very quickly. Banks were failing as their write-down of mortgage backed assets triggered liquidity problems. The Fed and the Treasury Department formed a crisis management team that seemed to meet non-stop, with new initiatives and actions every day, while even slow-moving Congress was stirred to pass the bailout package even with minimal controls and protections.

So what were you doing for your clients during all this? What were you doing to let others know how you could help?

For there were a few lawyers and firms that acted quickly and alertly to the potential risks or troubles of their clients. They didn’t just wait for the call, but took the initiative to give their clients and their market a resource they might not have considered.

One of these was Williams Mullen, a firm of over 300 attorneys based in the mid-Atlantic states. In September 2008, attorneys there formed a Financial Crisis Task Force which, according to the firm, was “formed to study the [bailout] legislation as it evolves, and to assist and advise our clients, keeping them informed on a timely basis utilizing our various industry and client teams and our government group.”

The chairman Joey Smith said, “We know our clients and their industries very well. We are anticipating the effect the government bailout and the rollout of conditions that will come with that bailout can have on our clients’ businesses and industries. Our attorneys will be on top of this crisis and armed with information that will allow them to be highly effective on behalf of our clients.”

Pro-active, informed and ever alert, armed with the capabilities of helping their clients take action and protect themselves…is this not the kind of firm you would want? But without action on their part – addressing the situation, leading the way for their clients, and getting the word out – who would know what they could do?

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