The Early Bird: Reed Smith Launches Global Ebola Task Force | BCG News

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10/22/14

The Early Bird: Reed Smith Launches Global Ebola Task Force


Summary: With changes in dynamics of client-service provider relationships and associated perceptions, law firms are stepping out of their traditional peripheries to make an impact. In a latest instance of such a step, on Tuesday, Reed Smith LLP announced the launch of a cross-practice Global Ebola Task Force to address client issues emerging from the spread of the disease in West Africa and around the world.

Reflecting modern client sentiments, Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith's Global Managing Partner said, "Commerce today is fully globalized, and threats to global commerce, such as the Ebola virus, often spawn complex legal issues that require a seamless, integrated approach."

He pointed out, "Many of our clients have faced, are facing or will face problems created by the spread of the virus, including health care systems, hospitals, shipping companies, and airlines. The virus has the potential to affect international commerce and trade, not just on the African continent, but worldwide. Our Global Ebola Task Force will put Reed Smith in front of the legal challenges our clients face."

"There is no substitute for being prepared when threats of this magnitude arise," said Ebola Task Force Leader Patrick Bradley. "Our first focus is being ready to respond to whatever clients need when they are affected or are concerned about the many legal issues that can arise as Ebola spreads. We have developed a unified approach across the many practice areas where such issues arise to provide prompt, effective and customized solutions."

Reed Smith's 35-member Africa Business Team has strong ties to businesses across the African continent - multinational companies as well as inward investors and trading houses. "The Ebola Task Force will combine the strengths of our Team and many of our global practices to provide a unified, proactive approach to the issues and concerns this outbreak is now generating in many commercial sectors," said Vince Gordon, a Practice Leader of the Africa Business Team.

Reed Smith's Global Ebola Task Force comprises lawyers from many of the firm's industry and practice groups, including Labor & Employment, Insurance Recovery, Life Sciences Health Industry, Shipping, Aviation, International Trade & National Security, and Data Privacy, Security & Management, as well as lawyers on Reed Smith's longstanding Africa Business Team, which represents global companies on transactions throughout the continent. It will be led by Patrick E. Bradley, a partner in the firm's Princeton, New Jersey office. His practice focuses on aviation and product liability litigation.

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