Background - Practices (Details)

Crisis Management & Prevention

Companies doing business today encounter crises. Information systems are being hacked, industrial accidents occur, whistleblowers go to the media, products fail, and federal agents appear at your door. How a company first responds to a crisis often makes the difference in limiting government investigations, legal action, and news coverage. 

Crowell & Moring's Crisis Management & Prevention Practice is anchored by seasoned attorneys with broad and deep experience working with clients across many industry sectors and around the world, representing Fortune 500 multinational conglomerates and their corporate executives. Our close contacts and vast government experience enables us to engage regulators and enforcement officials effectively, and our litigation prowess allows us to minimize risk every step of the way.

We start the discussion with crisis prevention and develop crisis management plans tailored to each client's needs. We work with a wide range of clients to conduct risk assessments as a critical step to reduce the potential for crises. When a crisis hits, we are ready with solutions and next steps.

Our practice is widely recognized by the industry. Law360 recently named our Advertising & Product Risk Management Group a "Consumer Protection Group of the Year." Members of our team have been named as "Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers" by the National Law Journal for work related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), as well as governance, risk, and compliance. Our team also includes several Chambers USA-ranked attorneys and leading investigations lawyers recognized by Global Investigations Review.

Crisis Response: Focus Areas and Services

We work hand-in-hand with clients to quickly handle incident and internal investigations, craft appropriate responses to government and media inquiries, and develop statements to employees and other stakeholders.

Focus Areas

  • Civil litigation
  • Consumer product safety issues and recalls
  • Corporate governance and shareholder issues
  • Criminal investigations and proceedings
  • Data security breaches and privacy issues
  • Environmental disasters and toxic tort cases
  • Environmental crimes and workplace safety
  • False Claims Act and qui tam investigations
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Act
  • Natural disaster response
  • Mining disasters
  • Regulatory investigations and enforcement actions
  • Whistleblower allegations
  • Workplace layoffs and violence


  • Activist campaign management
  • Claims administration
  • Crisis management plans
  • Crisis readiness, prevention and training
  • Digital crisis strategies
  • Government relations and public policy
  • Insurance coverage
  • Internal, employee management
  • Investor relations and stakeholder management
  • Issue assessment and strategy
  • Litigation communications
  • Media management, public relations and training, press releases, and media comments
  • Product recall management
  • Risk management

Our Experience and Approach

Our attorneys have deep subject matter experience and first-hand crisis management skills from serving in government and other notable positions, including:

  • The former advisor to the senior leadership at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. government agencies.
  • The former general counsel for the U.S. Consumer Product & Safety Commission.
  • A senior policy advisor to the National Counterintelligence Executive and legal counsel to the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) focusing on national security and terrorism.
  • Former Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
  • The former assistant chief of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division, Fraud Section; former DOJ prosecutor of the Enron Task Force; former senior counsel of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Division of Enforcement; as well as other former prosecutors.
  • The chief privacy officer at the Federal Trade Commission.
  • A partner trained as a Six Sigma "black belt."

Each crisis is different, and we work closely with clients to tailor crisis prevention and response plans that fit your unique business and personnel models. We help design and implement crisis-specific plans that include making measured decisions that consider all of the company's stakeholders, as well as short- and long-term risks and potential opportunities, and assembling an interdisciplinary team to investigate facts in real time. 

The firm has created several crisis management handbooks for various incidents, such as the Crisis Handbook: A Desktop Survival Guide For In-House Counsel; the Crisis Handbook for Government Contractors; and the Advertising & Product Risk Management Crisis Management Handbook.