Week one is done!
We enjoyed connecting with friends and making new ones this week. There is still time to sign up for next week's sessions, including our main plenary session, "A Remote World: Lessons and Predictions of Rapid Adaptation," Young Lawyers Virtual Roundtables, Life Sciences "International Regulatory Initiatives to Improve the Delivery of Healthcare in the Fight Against COVID-19," and more. Be sure to check the schedule on the right-hand side and feel free to forward this email to colleagues in your firm.
President's Report & Highlights
- We put a lot of effort into developing opportunities for member firm lawyers and professionals to connect and get involved, resulting in a 46% increase in participation.
- To promote WLG amongst our member firms and with a broader audience, we've ramped up our social media presence, our eBulletin publications and partnered with JD Supra to share WLG guides, collaborative articles and public webinars.
- The value of our network has never been more apparent. Firstly, our ability to service our clients' global issues efficiently and effectively during this crisis and secondly, the collective knowledge we can share with and learn from our network peers as we navigate these challenges our firms face.
View Full Report
Small Group Discussion Highlights
- Challenges vary by firm; however, all agree that working from home has created opportunities to evaluate and modify internal processes and introduce new technology, both saving time and resources.
- Video conferencing has increased connections with colleagues that haven't naturally formed in the office, and people are finding themselves more present during these calls (unable to multitask on video).
- Whether it is connecting more with family or digitizing practices and saving time, personal or professional lessons may have a lasting impact on wellness and efficiency.
Human Resources Law: "The Return to Work - The Aftermath of COVID-19"
- How and when to return to work varies widely depending on jurisdiction, governments and severity of the pandemic.
- Those who can work from home should or must; added infrastructure is making it easier to work from home without sacrificing the quality of work; employers are supplying and certifying the sanitization of masks, and; employees are returning to work in teams to reduce risk of exposure.
- Employees who are experiencing mental stress as a result of the pandemic are best to take sick leave to cope.
- The pandemic has uncovered outdated legal frameworks and systems will have to evolve and modernize.
Restructuring & Insolvency Resolution:"Emerging Trends in Light of COVID-19"
- Early trends indicate a "wait and see" approach to insolvency and restructuring activity.
- Long-term, we can likely expect a wave of insolvency filings and a need for informal or formal workouts. There will be massive cash holes to fill – travel, hospitality, and live entertainment companies seeing the worst.
- Filings may be more than what bankruptcy courts can handle. Videoconferencing, coupled with adjournment or suspension of non-emergency matters, may be a partial solution.
- Some countries have taken proactive steps to mitigate the insolvency risk, such as modifying laws and obligations to file for insolvency; many have amended Foreign Investment Policies.
Antitrust & Competition Group: Competition Enforcement and Merger Control in Portugal and Elsewhere in Times of COVID-19
- There is a need for cooperation from companies to ensure the supply and fair distribution of scarce products to customers. However, regulators will remain vigilant against anticompetitive practices.
- With respect to antitrust enforcement, we're seeing judicial deadlines be suspended, but proceedings have not.
- Most antitrust enforcement personnel are working remotely, with sessions and meetings held online.
- E-filings of merger notifications are permitted, with filing fees paid online and pre-filing meetings conducted through video conference.
Privacy & Data Protection Group: "Privacy & Data Protection Issues Related to COVID-19"
- Heightened sensitivity to data protection issues due to the increased volume of employees working remotely and data that is needed offsite, along with an increase in targeted attacks focused on COVID-19.
- New and evolving privacy issues caused by the need to collect information for health screening, monitoring and tracking to prevent exposure in the workplace are emerging.
- Challenges include ensuring employees have the proper equipment to comply with cybersecurity requirements, firms have adequate IT support to handle increased traffic, and outdated procedures are addressed and revised.
Young Lawyer Virtual Roundtable - Asia
- Significant global events shape our perspective on work. For some generations, this is the second or third event of magnitude. For others, it may be the first. The significance felt by a global event can depend on what other big events you can relate to, e.g. war.
- Cultivating resilience is a practice in wellness. The term "wellness" resonates with generations differently, but the underlying fundamentals of wellness remain the same: sleep, diet, exercise, joy, and awareness.
- The aftermath of this pandemic will influence the lens in which the next generations, Gen-Z and Generation Alpha, relate to the world and the behaviours they exhibit.
Week two schedule
May 11 | 13:30 UTC
Member firm leaders forum
May 12 | 13:00 UTC
plenary session - a remote world: lessongs and predictions of rapid adaption
may 12 | 18:00 utc
young lawyer forum roundtable - americas
may 13 | 13:00 utc
business development committee meeting
may 14 | 13:00 utc
life sciences group
may 15 | 14:00 utc
young lawyers forum roundtable - emea
Week three schedule
May 17 | 03:30 UTC
asia regional meeting
May 19 | 14:00 UTC
joint webinar: intellectual property & information technology and international trade groups
may 20 | 13:00 utc
international corporate transactions group
may 21 | 14:00 utc
Marketing & Business Development Professionals Forum Meeting