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Issue management

Our issue management service

When businesses or individuals find themselves in an unusual and daunting legal situation that threatens their reputation, it helps to have someone on hand who has lived other people’s crises and issues every day for decades and knows how those situations tend to pan out. In serious situations our experience is that avoiding harm to your reputation is not about scaring people off talking about it, but about dealing in the substance of underlying legal issues to guard you or your business in a meaningful way. When faced with these scenarios there is not always an obvious next step and achieving your objectives while seeking to avoid controversy can lie in setting a strategy to protect you or your business over a period of time.

That is how we have developed our stellar issues management practice which assists some of the largest companies and most prominent individuals in the world with their most challenging problems that threaten their reputation. Our focus is on creative legal thinking across territories and disciplines to determine an approach and assemble a team to meet their objectives. Our approach to managing an issue can be summarised as:

  1. Understand the full issue you face, the source of the problem and why it is occurring.
  2. Understand the identities and motives of other involved parties.
  3. Understand the rights and remedies at your disposal in all relevant territories and information which will support exercising them.
  4. Identify and agree realistic objectives to attain and the timescale over which to do it.
  5. Work with you to establish the possible futures, what is likely and what could have the highest impact and targeting activity on that basis, and planning for the necessary scenarios.
  6. Design a strategy to meet your objectives.
  7. Assembling a best in class team to deliver what is needed, and working with that team to ensure they deliver.
  8. Help you learn and strengthen your approaches to avoid recurrence of the vulnerabilities in the future, and recover from any impact the issue has had.

We pride ourselves in being experts at what we do, and as a result we choose to work with the best in class providers across the globe to deliver these strategies. 

What sort of problems do we help with?

Often our work starts with a problem and the activities build from there, but projects we have advised on include:

  • Helping a prominent individual in a series of disputes about the provenance of an artwork with a controversial former owner. Solving the problem included engaging with a sovereign state, a set of US class action litigants and arbitration against the vendor of the work;
  • Helping an individual with emerging allegations of involvement in large-scale kleptocracy manage the emergence of the issues, collating evidence and implementing appropriate defensive measures for his liberty and his assets around the world;
  • Advising a leading mining business on issues arising from consistent NGO interest and activity concerning its business, devising a programme of work to investigate and debunk allegations to provide a substantive basis for disproving allegations;
  • Helping a prominent individual secure the privacy of family and business activities in the face of a prolonged campaign of intrusion from media, campaigners and other hostile groups; and
  • Conducting internal investigations into serious allegations for prominent organisations either on an independent or advisory basis.

For more information see our issues section.

Issue management service case study

Case Study - Defending an artwork collector

The challenge: A prominent art collector accidentally acquired a work which transpired to have issues with its provenance

What we did: Alongside successfully defending the client against public allegations of wrongdoing, we led a team to arbitrate successfully against the vendor of the work and to then navigate two sets of discussions with parties who laid claim to the work.

The result: The client retains and displays the work, and his reputation and privacy were guarded throughout the process

Locations: New York, Asia, Geneva

Issue management – Key contacts