Rapid Response Team

For 90 years, McDonald Hopkins has been guiding clients through the most difficult times and circumstances with proactive, responsive legal counseling and business advice. Given the all-encompassing nature of the current global COVID-19 crisis and the challenges we see our clients facing, we have formulated an interdisciplinary team - the McDonald Hopkins Rapid Response Team - that is ready and able to support you and your business.

Our Rapid Response Team can advise on the legal and business implications of the COVID-19 crisis, provide insight on trends in the market and help you develop strategies to manage the immediate and longer-term issues that will arise. Because your needs are as unique as you are, the key players of each Rapid Response Team will be customized based on the specific business and legal challenges you face.

In this unprecedented time it is more important than ever that you have the support of a responsive, proactive team of attorneys and advisors who are invested in and care about your success. For assistance from our Rapid Response Team, please contact your McDonald Hopkins attorney or professional, Firm President, Shawn Riley, or one of our Office Managing Members - Cleveland: David Kall; Columbus: Peter Welin; Chicago: David Agay; Detroit: James Boutrous; West Palm Beach: John Metzger.

Below is a brief overview of the different industry-specific and business line insight we can provide, in addition to short, informational videos exploring topics impacting businesses today during the current COVID-19 crisis.


  1. Criminals exploiting crisis for extortion and other schemes.
  2. Phishing emails with potential malware.
  3. The use of unsecure and legacy computers and home networks as a result of forced remote working.
  4. Increase in ransomware and complex malwares as threat actors are keenly aware that IT and information security is not working/operating business as usual.



  1. Review of force majeure clauses and their application to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  2. Analysis and application of construction as an essential business operation under state–issued stay at home and shelter in place orders.
  3. Establishing employee policies for continuing to work on essential infrastructure projects.
  4. Application of Families First Coronavirus Response Act, application of FMLA and paid sick leave policies and other newly enacted legislation.


  1. Identifying initial signals of recession, such as borrowers drawing down their lines of credit, federal intervention in credit markets, crashing equity markets, airlines requesting government aid package, and businesses requesting guidance on customer and vendor bankruptcies.
  2. Best practices in corporate governance and proactive planning.
  3. How to handle customers and vendors in distress.
  4. How to sell a distressed business and opportunities for buyers.
  5. How to do a balance sheet restructuring.



  1. Taking advantage of interest rate reductions with a mortgage refinance/modification, and possibly cashing out additional equity to take advantage of the federal emergency rate cut.
  2. Preparing for potential workouts or enforcement actions with defaulting tenants.
  3. Preparing for delays or postponements of pending real estate transactions.



  1. Review your credit agreement and make sure you understand and comply with, to the extent possible, your reporting requirements and covenants.
  2. If you anticipate future breaches or defaults, talk to your lender sooner rather than later. 
  3. Depending on the nature and extent of anticipated defaults, open discussions with alternative lending sources. 


  1. The requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in terms of FMLA leave and paid sick time.
  2. How to set up and handle telework.
  3. Considerations in implementing layoffs, furloughs and RIFs.
  4. Wage/hour issues related to modified work schedules.
  5. When can an employee collect unemployment; what are the state law requirements.



  1. Creating effective 2020 incentive programs in light of perceived inability to meet target performance (i.e., lack of motivation to work hard in 2020 because of perceived low performance--no associated payout).
  2. Designing retention programs (e.g., KERPs) to retain talent during financial hardships.
  3. Providing incentives to executives with underwater options/equity-based incentives that may not have (or may be perceived not to have) value.
  4. Benefit plan participation in light of leaves/furloughs and whether employees remain eligible for plans.
  5. Permissive loans under 401(k) plans and other employee assistance under qualified plans.
  6. Inadvertent Good Reason termination triggers due to cessation of operations/downsizing.
  7. Treatment of vesting of incentive awards where employees are on leave/furlough.




  1. Doing business with the government, including issues with meetings, inspections, and approvals for construction projects, economic development incentives, contract approvals, force majeure, planning commission, board of zoning appeals and related boards.
  2. Governmental entities, open meetings, and how to navigate and ensure that the public has access while complying with various requirements and goals and continuing to carry out the duties, roles and obligations for governmental entities. 




Learn more about the various impacts of COVID-19 on businesses

Learn more about how the CARES Act impacts your business