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Duane Morris named a Standout Firm by BTI Consulting Group

Duane Morris has been named a Standout Firm in Class Actions Litigation, Cybersecurity Litigation and Complex Commercial Litigation by BTI Consulting Group.

According to BTI:

  • As litigation (of all types) is starting to pile up in what is expected to be a tsunami of litigation, corporate counsel re-evaluate their options of law firms based on current performance, response-to-date to the pandemic, ongoing interactions and prior performance.
  • Top legal decision makers identified the firms best suited to meet their most pressing litigation needs.

If you would like to find out more information about BTI Consulting Group, please visit: https://bticonsulting.com/

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP, a law firm with more than 800 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally, is asked by a broad array of clients to provide innovative solutions to today’s legal and business challenges.

Evaluating and learning from the pandemic response

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the strengths and exposing the weaknesses of governments, defence, security forces and the private sector in their crisis preparedness and response. In order for future responses to be more robust and resilient, governments will need to understand how these actors collaborate and map leadership priorities.

PwC’s new report, “Evaluating and learning from the pandemic response,” identifies the connections and chains of command that government institutions and private entities need to implement to work effectively against the complex threats of the 21st century. It offers a structured approach to mapping these links between institutions to determine any weaknesses. Contributors to the report include Malcolm Brown, former Deputy Minister of Public Safety in Canada; Sir Craig Mackey, former Deputy Commission of the Metropolitan Police Service in London; and Peter Van Uhm, retired general and former Chief of Defence of the Netherlands.

Using PwC’s Security Ecosystem Assessment Map (SEAM) framework, developed by experts in the defence and security fields, leaders can examine the ways in which their organisations must adapt to changing situations and connect with other entities to improve future responses to crises.

George Alders, of PwC’s Global Government Security Sector, says: “The world of police work and the crimes they must tackle is changing and evolving as technology drives new types of crimes and societal behaviours. Amid this transformation, during the COVID-19 pandemic, police are being asked to do even more – enforcing social distancing, restrictions on movement between countries, even the wearing of face masks. In order to meet the challenges of a pandemic and whatever the next new threats may require, police and security services will need to develop more collaborative ways of working to keep citizens safe.”

Terry Weber, of PwC’s Global Government Defence Sector, says: “The response to the COVID-19 pandemic was uncharted territory in many respects and was the ultimate test of trusted institutions to be agile and flexible in the face of immense pressure. Applying a structured approach to evaluating where these institutions succeeded and where they fell short will help all players in the ecosystem continue to respond appropriately to the ongoing crisis and prepare for the next threat, whatever it may be.”

Malcolm Brown, Senior Strategic Advisor, PwC Canada, says: “This pandemic is far from over. Governments will be challenged to meet the needs of citizens as economies re-open, employees return to work, international travel resumes, and health and social care systems reassess their capacities in the face of fluctuating COVID-19 infection rates. The mapping process we’ve developed for identifying what is working well and what is not can help leaders make the right decisions and investments to keep their citizens safe now and be better prepared for the next phase of the pandemic or the next crisis that awaits us.”

Switzerland vs. COVID-19

Like all other countries, Switzerland has been, and still is, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cases were as numerous as those in the most affected countries. However, the number of victims is significantly lower, probably because of the quality of the Swiss health care system and better organisation and implementation of government measures.

The Swiss Federal Council (Government) is currently undergoing a gradual exit from the lockdown which will take place in three phases, on 28 April, 11 May and 9 June.

These measures seem all the more credible because containment has never been complete in  Switzerland: non-food stores and pharmacies were closed, as were restaurants, but outside these sectors population was authorised to move and work.

In terms of economy, the closure measures have, as everywhere, caused a great deal of damage and a drop in GDP of approximately 8% is expected in 2020.

This is the result of both the measures taken and the fact that, as the Swiss economy is very integrated with the economies of its neighbours, the loss of purchasing power will be felt in Switzerland.

However, GDP is generally expected to rise by the same amount in 2021, according to projections by most economists.

Assistance measures taken

The federal government and the cantons have also taken measures to support companies and employees.

These compensatory measures include direct aid to companies which had to close or those whose turnover has been significantly reduced, intervention in the payment of commercial rents, loans, loans guaranteed by the public authorities, easier access to temporary unemployment, etc.

It is recognised that these measures have been effective, although they are insufficient to compensate for the losses suffered by businesses. In addition, the Federal Government and the cantons have been very reactive, with aid sometimes being granted within only two or three days.

The future of the Swiss economy

As is the case everywhere, lockdown measures, although not comprehensive, will have medium- and long-term implications.

However, one of the important advantages of Switzerland is that the public authorities were very lightly in debt and therefore have a significantly higher borrowing capacity than most of the other European countries. In addition, the federal budget has been in surplus in recent years, and the state wisely refused to listen to those who recommended the spending of the budget bonus.

Therefore, Switzerland has now a greater capacity to intervene without jeopardising the balance of public finances and without requiring new taxes from taxpayers.

Residence in Switzerland

This is probably one of the reasons why the establishment of a company in Switzerland, or the acquisition of a Swiss residence, is to be recommended today, provided that it corresponds to reality.

There is a concern that some other countries, including in Europe, will take very heavy fiscal measures, either at the end of this year or in the following years, in order to service their very heavy 2020 expenditure incurred.

It is highly unlikely that Switzerland will be forced to take equivalent measures.

It is therefore more than probable that in the coming years there will be additional advantages in establishing in Switzerland, not because of an improvement in the Swiss tax system, but because, compared to that, the taxation of neighbouring countries will be even higher than it is today.

Dentons HPRP: Uninterrupted Service during COVID-19 Outbreak

Dentons HPRP has adopted remote working since 18 March 2020, in compliance with the direction of the President of Indonesia on Sunday, 15 March 2020 and Circular Letter of The Minister of Manpower of Indonesia regarding Worker / Labour Protection and Business Continuity in the Context of Preventing and Countering COVID-19, announced on 17 March 2020.

This will continue.

Following the announcement by the Governor of DKI Jakarta no.33/2020 regarding Large Scale Social Restrictions (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar or PSBB) to contain the spread of COVID-19, our office (at Wisma 46 – Kota BNI, 32nd and 41st floors, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav.1, Jakarta 10220) will be closed from 13 April 2020 to 24 April 2020, both dates inclusive.

As a global firm, we are accustomed to working virtually and have extensive technology at our disposal to enable our teams to continue providing services to our clients without interruption. We also continue to process mail correspondence and service of documents during this period. Please contact our office at +62 21 5701837 for the necessary arrangements.

Minimising disruption to our clients is our top-most priority as we understand that many of you will have questions on how the outbreak will impact you and how we can help. Please do not hesitate to contact the relevant partners or associates by email or mobile phone. We will make every effort to support your business and your needs for legal services during this period.

Dentons has also developed a comprehensive, regularly updated COVID-19 hub which houses a wealth of resources to help navigate the ongoing challenges during this difficult time. We invite you to access this hub for further insights.

We thank you for your continued support. Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us.

We wish you and your families good health.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognised by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Enterprise, Dentons’ wholly owned subsidiary of innovation, advisory and technology operating units. Dentons’ polycentric approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.

Employers’ Rights During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Outbreak

In accordance with the Law on Occupational Health and Safety and the Code of Obligations, employers must ensure the occupational health and safety of their employees at the workplace. The employer must provide the necessary resources to ensure occupational health and safety at the workplace. It is necessary to take measures such as providing a sufficient amount of soap, cologne and hand disinfectant in the workplace and take measures such as ventilation of the workplace by employers. Employers should avoid risks that could lead to a dangerous situation for their employees, they have to eliminate existing risks, or replace existing risks with non-hazardous or less hazardous factors. If necessary, stopping workplace activities may be considered. In this process, international travel and meetings should also be restricted. Employers should also be informed about the COVID-19 epidemic and the measures taken in the workplace in this context and appropriate instructions should be given to the employees regarding health and safety measures. In this case, employees must also comply with all the measures taken regarding occupational health and safety.

If employees have an infection or suspicious symptoms, they should report these to their employers per their loyalty obligations. This is also important for ensuring occupational health and safety in the workplace. However, the definition of what poses risks should be clearly defined by employers and employees should be informed about this. Employers may recommend that their employees explain their findings, such as infection and suspicion, to their employers and authorised persons such as the workplace’s occupational health and safety board. The employer can’t give instructions to the employers to inform their employers about the symptoms of the disease due to data confidentiality, but this can be recommended to ensure health and safety in the workplace, employees should nevertheless express such concerns in secret. Because of the protection of their health and the health of their colleagues, they need to be careful. Although the employer is not obliged to notify the employees having the infection detected in the workplace to the health institutions, it would be appropriate for the employers to inform the health officials about this situation in case of such danger or suspicion. However, the employer can’t force his employee to be examined if he finds a suspect of infection. This situation can only be recommended. If the employee does not listen to these recommendations, if the employer deems it necessary, the employee can be gone on leave, provided that one is paid.

If employees prefer not to come to work due to the epidemic, the option of shortening their working time or part-time work may be considered. However, according to the Labour Law, changes in working hours must be notified to employees in advance and approved by employees in writing. If the employees do not approve of this change in writing within 6 working days, the employer cannot accept this change. It is also an option to send the employee unilaterally on leave, provided that the employee continues to be paid by the employer and the employee is ready to work. Employer’s encouragement or coercion of employees to work remotely is also one of the measures that can be taken in this epidemic environment. If a decision is taken to work from home in the workplace, employees will continue to receive full salary without any interruption and the employer will provide their employees with the technical equipment necessary to work from home. Employees also have the right to participate in short-term working and receive an allowance. For the employees to benefit from the short-time working allowance, the working hours of the workplace should be temporarily reduced by at least a third or the activities in the workplace should be stopped completely or partially for at least four weeks. If the employer justified the demand for the short-time working of the employee, he can contact the Employment Agency to provide a short-time working allowance for employees up to three months. In the short-time working, half of the wages of the first week are paid by the employer then a certain amount of wages will be paid from the unemployment fund to be deducted from the unemployment allowance. If verified coronavirus cases are detected in the workplace, employees can refrain from working. In this case, employers should continue to pay salaries even if the employees do not perform their duties. In the case of a force majeure such as the spread of the outbreak in Turkey and to threaten the general population, unpaid leave, as long as the mutual agreement of the employer and employee, is another option available to employees. The employer or employee can offer unpaid leave. If the proposal comes from the employee, the request for leave must be reasonable and the time off must be temporary. In the case that an employee does not have a request for unpaid leave with his consent, employers should use this option as a last resort and should never force their employees for unpaid leave. The employer must inform the employee in writing regarding unpaid leave in advance, and the employee must accept this request in writing within 6 business days. If the workplace activities are temporarily suspended and no employee contracts are terminated during this period, the employer is not obliged to inform the Social Security Institution. If the employee cannot participate in workplace activities due to force majeure, the employer is allowed to pay half of his salary for each day to the employee who cannot work for a week, according to the labour law. However, if the force majeure continues for more than a week, the employee or employer may terminate the employment contract for just cause. In this case, the employee will have all legal rights such as severance pay, overtime, unused vacation, but he will not be able to receive notice pay. On the other hand, if the workplace activities are stopped by the authorised institutions, the employer cannot terminate the employment contracts of his employees. However, in this case, the employee may have all legal rights, including severance pay, excluding notice pay, by terminating the employment contract for just cause.