Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities of Today's New Normal

Covid-19 Resource Center

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The rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is creating a plethora of unique business and legal challenges across nearly every sector of our economy. Our multi-disciplinary COVID-19 Taskforce has been vigilantly monitoring the crisis and proactively analyzing the various, often seldom invoked, legal issues implicated by the quickly evolving health emergency. With the landscape changing daily cross all industries, Bilzin Sumberg's COVID-19 Taskforce collaborates across the firm’s practice groups to decipher massive amounts of information related to the virus and send timely client alerts with the latest news and orders related to the pandemic.

At the heart of every company's concern is business continuity. Bilzin Sumberg remains focused on mitigating the impact of the crisis on its clients by developing unique strategies tailored to their specific needs. Clients can count on the firm to provide them with timely guidance on maximizing operations and avoiding disruptions as laws, regulations, consumer markets and best practices change in response to the virus. The challenges brought on by the coronavirus for business continuity and planning are unprecedented. With Bilzin Sumberg's advice on your side, you will not have to face them alone.

How Bilzin Sumberg Can Help

  • Advise on business continuity planning, including contractual review
  • Assist clients facing supply chain disruptions and/or failure to meet production or sale quotas
  • Provide guidance on applicable federal, state, and local regulations and assist with navigating multi-agency interactions
  • Advise high net worth individuals and family offices on unique wealth planning opportunities in light of the current financial market shifts
  • Analysis of hotel exposure in light of cancellations and deterioration of financing within the industry
  • Assist the food and beverage industry and other consumer product companies in assessing liability exposure and legal risk by canceling outstanding purchase orders and moving production to other countries, as well as the development and implementation of appropriate and effective disease containment and maintenance policies
  • Provide guidance on the applicable regulatory restrictions on the collection and uses of personal data, including sharing of private health-related information, and possible ways to mitigate risks relating to such collection and use
20/20 Vision: Reimagining Recovery for Miami-Dade

Government Interactions in a Virtual World

COVID-19 has forced governments at all levels to make significant changes to their procedures and processes. It has driven them to embrace technological change, such as virtual public hearings, and has pressured them to discover operational efficiencies as their employees continue to work mostly from home. As state and local budgets have been stretched thin in responding to the virus, public-private partnerships have arisen as an attractive mechanism for those governments to pursue their agendas.

"Until we have a steady stream of income from travelers, the hotels are not going to be able to function properly and not be able to meet their obligations. No hotel can operate on less than 20 percent occupancy. The numbers don’t work.” - Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, head of real estate at Bilzin Sumberg

Hospitality Industry: Current Challenges and the Road Ahead

This year, and likely next, the hospitality market in the U.S. will be negatively impacted as group and transient business will decline, especially in major cities. This massive occupancy issue will drive rates way down and impact the ability of borrowers to make debt service payments.

Additionally, hospitality providers will need to navigate a host of new issues: changing health and safety standards, revisiting hotel spaces with an eye towards social distancing and other physical requirements, and reviewing guest amenities as the virus dictates what is and is not appropriate for guests.

Other important issues include:

  • Understanding the repayment nuances of commercial mortgage-backed securities debt
  • Effectively planning for adaptive reuse of unused assets
  • The future of lending in an uncertain recovery
  • The shifting positions of owners and lenders and what that means for negotiations
  • How the virus has impacted force majeure clauses

Environmental Considerations: Identifying Risks and Protecting Assets in Turbulent Times

Amidst today's turbulent economic conditions and uncertainties, property owners, lenders, managers, landlords, and tenants, should be more prudent than ever in identifying both potential environmental risks and valuable environmental assets associated with their properties to ensure that risks can be managed and valuable entitlements can be preserved.

General issues for consideration include:

  • Identifying requirements for contaminated property
  • Identifying environmental permits and entitlements
  • Review and identify provisions that might provide relief if environmental compliance or remediation efforts become difficult or impossible
homebuilder site

The Perfect Storm for Estate Planning Before Year End

Depreciated asset values caused by the COVID-19 on the economy, record-low interest rates, and record-high exemption amounts, have created the "perfect storm" in estate planning. It also creates some unique opportunities. To learn more about some strategies you may wish to consider, click the link below.

Data Privacy in Today's Virtual

The anticipated large-scale increase in employees working remotely raises the possibility of increased threats to data security and privacy. Furthermore, the social and economic chaos that COVID-19 has engendered has emboldened hackers to breach databases with sensitive information to sell on the dark web.

The good news is that businesses and their employees can defend against these incursions by staying especially vigilant in response to the increased threat.

Here are five (5) defensive measures companies can put into place to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers:

  1. Require remote users to connect to the internet through trusted, password-protected Wi-Fi networks or hotspots — and charge an IT company to verify that level of protection
  2. Educate employees on how to identify emailed phishing scams that are disguised as security or software updates
  3. Keep confidential communications and documents within your trusted business network, avoiding the temptation to share these materials through third-party platforms
  4. Activate a ‘two-factor authentication’ log-in process for any software or remote portal that provides access to sensitive information
  5. Refer any requests for passwords or other types of personal, confidential information to a designated contact person, such as an IT consultant
Related Insights
Bilzin Sumberg's COVID-19 Taskforce Recognized As National Law Journal's 2020 Crisis Leadership Trailblazers

 

This information is intended to inform our clients and other friends about legal developments, including recent decisions of various municipalities, legislative, and administrative bodies. Because of the rapidly changing landscape related to COVID-19, we intend to send out regular updates. The information we provide is not intended as legal advice and viewers/readers should not rely on information contained in these materials to make business or legal decisions. Before making any legal decisions, consult your lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need assistance responding to the many issues which have arisen, and will continue to arise, out of this situation.