A Message From Cleary’s Managing Partner

March 22, 2020


To Our Clients, Alumni and Friends,

I want to update you on Cleary Gottlieb’s ongoing responses to COVID-19.

Our Commitment to Health, Safety and Client Service

On March 11, we asked our global personnel to participate in a test of our firm’s remote work readiness, using the IT and organizational infrastructures we had developed over the years for such a situation and that our colleagues in Cleary’s Asia and Italy offices had implemented at different points over the past two months. After a highly successful test, coupled with rapidly evolving developments late last week, we strongly recommended that all of our personnel begin working remotely effective this past Monday, March 16.

We made this decision as part of our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our community and our clients, and to doing our part in the global effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To protect the well-being of our people and deliver effective client service, we continue to:

  • Maintain lean staff in most of our locations to provide essential business continuity. We will continue to take every measure to safeguard these team members, including in relation to various stay-at-home mandates in cities where we have offices, and will make further adjustments as the situation evolves;
  • Provide our personnel with tools and resources for working remotely, including essential equipment and virtual communication/remote conferencing technology;
  • Foster the collegial and supportive environment we prize when we’re physically together, by using our communication and conferencing resources to make sure we are in frequent contact with one another about our work and our well-being; and
  • Apply the safest standards and best practices to provide guidance on travel, transitioning internal events to virtual settings, visitor policies and more.

Throughout the past week, Cleary’s lawyers and staff have responded to these significant adjustments in exactly the way we expected – with hard work and empathy for one another, and with fortitude and resilience.  I couldn’t be more proud of our team.

Our Commitment to You

Over the past two months, we have had many conversations with clients, alumni/ae and friends. We know that many of you are experiencing challenges, both in your businesses and in your daily lives.

Our lawyers are available at their regular email addresses, office numbers or mobile numbers at any time, and our teams are ready to connect with you via audio/video, group chat or any other means.

Cleary has a task force dedicated to helping our clients through this challenging time. Each day our teams are highly engaged in addressing a wide array of transactional, governance, disputes and regulatory issues arising from COVID-19. Our task force has also organized a number of sector-focused initiatives (travel, leisure/entertainment, retail, natural resources and financial institutions, among others) and specific issue-focused initiatives, including:

  • Bankruptcy and restructuring issues;
  • Consumer-facing, sales/marketing compliance issues;
  • Disclosure, communication and governance issues;
  • Employee issues; and
  • Force majeure/frustration/material adverse change (and other contract issues).

We encourage you to reach out to your regular Cleary contact; you can also email our task force directly at Global-Cleary_Covid-19_Taskforce@cgsh.com.

We are also continuing to share insights into the legal and business problems we’re working on, as well as what we’re observing from governments and regulators. We encourage you to visit our public COVID-19 Resource Center on our website, or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter for the latest updates.

The achievements of our clients, alumni/ae network and friends in business, government, academia and the law is a source of strength and pride for our firm, and we look forward to staying in close contact with all of you as we navigate the coming days, weeks and months together.

In the meantime, on behalf of everyone at Cleary Gottlieb, we wish you continued health, safety and well-being.

Michael A. Gerstenzang
Managing Partner