On April 14, 2020, the Sheppard Mullin French desk hosted a webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on various business sectors. The webinar was organized as a roundtable discussion with two business leaders, Christopher Mars, the U.S. COO of Marie Blanchere, a leading European traditional bakery brand, and Daniel H. Connor, the U.S. CEO of Sia Partners, a leading international independent management and AI consulting firm. The discussion was moderated by partner and Chair of the French Desk, Valérie Demont, and associate Karl Buhler and focused on the following:

  • Each speaker emphasized their foremost concern relative to staff safety and health as well as the proactive steps they have taken and continue to take in order to respond to protect their people and customers as well as ensure business continuity in these challenging times.
  • Both business leaders discussed their experience with the Paycheck Protection Program. The takeaway there is it is best to work closely with individual banks and have all paperwork completed and verified so that submissions could be approved as quickly as possible.
  • The speakers discussed the enhanced needs for client and team engagement. All-staff videoconferences continue to be an effective way of coordinating logistics and operations among teams as well as to keep team morale.
  • The experts also discussed their strategies of maintaining the most protective and proactive cybersecurity programs in place, a need which will become even more central to business continuity as many facets of commerce are moved online.
  • In the midst of all of the uncertainty, both business leaders spoke about the need to give back and their efforts to help their communities and support staff and customers alike.
  • They both discussed lessons learned from the crisis and ways in which they plan to further improve communication among team members and with clients and customers.

coronavirus, small businesses

This was the first of many similar roundtables of business leaders who are thinking about the ways in which coordination and proactive business changes will ensure the success of companies navigating a post-COVID-19 landscape. A recording of the full discussion is available here.

On Tuesday, April 28, a panel of life sciences executives will join a roundtable hosted by Sheppard Mullin in order to discuss critical business decisions made following the impact of COVID-19. The link to register is available here.

On April 23, the French Desk teamed up with Business France to discuss commercial issues as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice and does not form an attorney client relationships. As you are aware, things are changing quickly and there is no clear-cut authority or bright line rules.  This is not an unequivocal statement of the law, but instead represents our best interpretation of where things currently stand.  This article does not address the potential impacts of the numerous other local, state and federal orders that have been issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

NEW!! Check out Sheppard Mullin’s Coronavirus Insights Portal which now aggregates the firm’s various COVID-19 blog posts on a broad range of topics. Click here to view and subscribe.

*This alert is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to form an attorney client relationship.  Please contact your Sheppard Mullin attorney contact for additional information.*