The nature of organization crisis is ever changing. Increasingly, there is rising pressure for organizations to respond swiftly. Advance preparation is key for both management and the Board.
Torys has extensive experience advising on, and helping our clients manage all manner of crises, from cyberattacks to allegations of misconduct that impugn an organization’s reputation. We are also regularly involved in regulatory investigations and litigation that follow such incidents.
When crisis hits, Torys is able to immediately assist in containment and investigation of the event. This may include obtaining privileged third party expert reports, guiding the investigators’ scope and timeline, and advising on the form of the reports with a view to potential regulatory and litigation scrutiny. We provide guidance on obligations to notify insurers, counterparties and business partners of incidents and avoid delays that could put insurance coverage or ongoing business relationships at risk. We advise on legislative obligations to report the incident to regulators, and on the legal, strategic and reputational risks associated with notifying customers, employees or others.
If public notifications are warranted, Torys will work with our client’s in-house or external communications and public relations team to develop the communications materials, determine the means of delivering key messages, prepare scripting and FAQs for follow-up questions, and craft speaking notes for media, regulatory and customer relations. Our focus is consistently on managing the narrative, mitigating reputational harm and anticipating how the company’s decisions will be viewed by regulators, courts and business partners.
Following the initial incident response and containment phase, we provide support throughout federal, provincial and industry regulatory investigations, and in any litigation to follow.
We have dedicated experts who are regularly called on to advise on emergency preparedness and crisis management across a wide range of fields, including:
- Employment law (harassment, discrimination, mental health, unexpected death of CEO, board changes, class actions)
- Privacy/cybersecurity incidents
- Board governance
- White collar crime (fraud, accounting irregularities)
- Environmental and occupational health and safety law (employee death in a manufacturing facility; toxicity of product; plant explosion)
- Class actions
- Competition litigation (price fixing, misleading advertising)