West Virginia Record

Thursday, April 9, 2020

National firm creates resource center to answer COVID-19 questions

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By Kyla Asbury | Mar 21, 2020


CHARLESTON — A national firm that has offices in West Virginia has created a COVID-19 resource center for businesses and individuals to stay up-to-date on the rapidly changing laws involved with the new coronavirus.

Matthew Nelson, a managing partner with Lewis Brisbois in Charleston, said the firm has put together a team of lawyers nationwide since the firm has offices in more than 40 states to create the COVID-19 Response Resource Center

"We have a member of those offices on the response team and we have experts in various practice areas—from antitrust to banking to data privacy and cybersecurity—that are monitoring developments nationally and state-by-state and providing not only updates regarding developments with laws that are being passed at the federal or the state level, but also providing a resource," Nelson said in an interview with The West Virginia Record.

Matt Nelson | http://lewisbrisbois.com/

Nelson said the resource center is a place where they're sending out updates and memos to clients but also providing the resource center for people to go to to find information relating to potential issues in various areas, like employment and what to do with employees or potential insurance implications from some of these events.

"We have a collaborative team nationally that is meeting and sending out these alerts for others to go to if they have questions," Nelson said.

Nelson said things are changing so quickly, people need to have somewhere to go to find the resources they need.

"From a legal perspective, this is a rapidly evolving landscape where laws are being enacted and laws are being changed or not enforced as it relates to employers and employees and that has created a lot of questions for businesses," Nelson said. "Like how to comply with those new laws or changes with those laws."

Nelson said employees all over the country are having the same questions.

"It's important for employers to try and stay on top of these changes so that they can have answers for their employees who certainly have questions," Nelson said. "Things are changing every day."

Nelson said while in West Virginia there hasn't been an order requiring everyone to stay home and not go to work, that isn't the case in other states where Lewis Brisbois has offices.

"That is happening in Pennsylvania, New York and California," Nelson said. "It's an interesting time to be alive, but also an important time for us to be able to address these legal questions that clients have that they've never had before because we've never been in this situation before."

Nelson said Lewis Brisbois may be unique to other firms in the state because while it has a fairly significant presence in Charleston, it also has offices in almost every jurisdiction in the country.

"Businesses even in West Virginia may have offices in other states or contract with other businesses in other states that our firm is uniquely qualified and prepared to help with," Nelson said. "The Response Center has been developed so we could address those questions across the country. A lot of those issues that employers or businesses or individuals may have, they may be domiciled in West Virginia or Colorado, but their businesses may be affected by laws or things going on in other states."

The resource center has information on antitrust and consumer protection, business practices, government relations and regulatory, healthcare and long-term care, insurance, labor and employment and tax.

Another West Virginia firm is also working on keeping its clients up-to-date with COVID-19. Spilman Thomas & Battle announced the creation of the COVID-19 Task Force earlier this week.

The task force has about a dozen attorneys in various practice groups and offices currently, including labor and employment, health care, wealth management, bankruptcy, construction and intellectual property.

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