John P. Carlin and David A. Newman
Global Risk + Crisis Management and National Security, CFIUS, Sanctions + Export Controls
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 13, 2018) – Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to present the inaugural global Crisis Management Benchmarking Report, which was conducted in partnership with the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.
The report includes the results of a global survey of nearly 250 senior executives in ethics, compliance, legal, communications, and risk functions, from both public and private companies and non-profits across the world. The survey, which was conducted online, included questions about crisis management plans, the roles involved in the development of these plans, how companies prepare their teams, and the ways that companies use outside counsel for crisis management and preparedness. The data from this survey was combined with interviews from large, multinational companies with sophisticated legal, ethics, and compliance programs, as well as from Morrison & Foerster’s partners that have practices in various domains of corporate crisis management, in order to identify best practices for plan development, maintenance, and implementation.
View the Crisis Management Benchmarking Report.
Some key findings from the survey about crisis management plans (CMPs) include:
“This report gives business leaders insights into current trends involving crisis management response around the world and highlights best practices for crisis planning,” said John Carlin, chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Global Risk and Crisis Management practice group and co-head of the National Security practice group. “Having a well-designed crisis management plan is a critical aspect of being prepared. But too often, as this survey shows, executives lack confidence in their plan and don’t know whether it could be relied upon in an actual crisis. That is why it is so important that organizations practice how they would respond to different scenarios and test whether their plan is workable.”
Interviews with Morrison & Foerster attorneys and senior compliance and ethics professionals helped inform key recommendations covered in the report that will raise organizational confidence in crisis management plans. Examples include:
David Newman, of counsel in Morrison & Foerster’s National Security and Global Risk & Crisis Management practices, previously served in the White House Counsel’s Office and on the National Security Council staff, where he helped coordinate the response to crises ranging from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014 and international terrorism incidents. He highlighted the importance of ensuring that the response plan reflects input from all relevant components of an organization and is tested with the actual participants who would be called upon to use it through tabletop exercises and other drills. “Don’t prepare in silos. Consider not just preparation within workstreams but true cross-functional planning; part of the purpose of a good tabletop exercise is to give people the experience of working through challenging scenarios and elements of the response. To be able to go fast and also be effective, you have to have practiced.”
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