Early in the pandemic’s global spread, the largest law firm in the world launched open access to a suite of highly relevant tech resources and content. As the only global firm with a presence in every COVID-19 hotspot, and a strong commitment to innovative client service, Dentons has pledged to share these materials to proactively support public efforts to understand rapidly shifting global realities.
- Dentons’ COVID-19 Hub leverages its unmatched global reach to encompass a wealth of information and jurisdiction-specific insights for nearly 50 countries, with more being added on a rolling basis.
- Free access to real-time regulatory updates in an ever-growing list of regions has been made available through Nextlaw Ventures portfolio company Libryo.
- A 50-State Tracker outlines key information for each US state including pandemic-related state and local government orders, business and health directives, and court/legislative updates.
- Its Global Labor and Employment Tracker enables businesses to simultaneously compare their obligations as employers in up to three countries, on a filterable set of themes including employee protection, compensation, data privacy, and travel protocols.
- The Government Announcement Tracker provides clients with a centralized and wide-reaching host of general updates, as well as topic-specific announcements related to their areas of interest.
- A Global Insolvency Tracker currently covers 39 countries and addresses some of the frequently asked questions that clients support with, including when to file, changes in director duties, and third party enforcement options.
- The Pro Bono Hub centralizes legal resources supporting charities, NGOs and not-for-profits, including an NGO COVID-19 legal checklist and a pro bono request channel.
In addition, the central portal includes resources for focus areas including Force Majeure, tax, competition, data privacy, and insights specific to 10 sectors, from financial institutions and insurance to real estate, life sciences and retail. The resources are available to anyone via the central portal, which has been accessed by more than 40,000 users to date.
Portfolio companies of Dentons-founded Nextlaw Ventures, the world’s first legal-tech focused investment fund, are also supporting COVID-19 related challenges.
- Smart contracts startup Clause is providing critical data to help small businesses access COVID-19 relief loans by assisting banks to make the loan application process faster, easier and smarter by improving data verification speed and accuracy, and automatically triggering actions in associated platforms.
- AI-based talent optimization platform ProFinda is offering processes to tap into critical healthcare reservist workforce options.
- AI-based legal research solution ROSS Intelligence is building resources around attorney tech competence.
- Hire an Esquire has increased its network of attorneys in practice areas that have seen increased workloads amid the epidemic, including employment, insurance, healthcare and finance/bankruptcy.
In addition to tech and content supporting the global business community, Dentons’ Nextlaw In-House Solutions team of 60+ former GCs and legal counsel is advising legal departments, leveraging experience gained from steering leading corporations through such crises as 9/11, natural disasters and previous financial downturns. Within the firm, Dentons NextTalent – an internal initiative to accelerate development of skills for the lawyers of the future – has accelerated existing efforts to increase connection, collaboration and build EQ, looking toward the mid and longer term future of client service needs.
Clients are increasingly in need of a central nexus of legal support with a multijurisdictional workforce that can respond quickly with an innovative approach and global reach. Dentons has been at the forefront of legal response on critical projects including advising on the first corporate bond issued to support epidemic prevention and control in four China provinces, assisting on regulatory approvals in nine markets for a consumer products manufacturer for a new line of medical and sanitizing products, and providing regulatory advice on supply chain management to keep goods moving across 75 countries in essential industries.
Dentons teams across the world are also supporting vulnerable groups needing increased pro bono legal assistance as a result of the pandemic. From protecting prison populations, ensuring continued reproductive health services and protections against domestic violence, to staffing legal aid clinics maintaining uninterrupted services online, Dentons attorneys have been supporting clients and communities in responding to the outbreak in force.
Dentons will continue to share insights, resources and best practices with clients and contacts around the world, and proactively support the business community as it navigates business challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maya Markovich, Chief Growth Officer Nextlaw Labs, Dentons