Multidisciplinary Crisis Management

Ropes & Gray’s multidisciplinary crisis management team regularly advises global corporations on how to plan for and respond to the most complex and highly sensitive incidents.



Ropes & Gray has decades of experience counseling clients on crisis management, including with respect to issues that have the potential for significant reputational harm and that call for fast action. Our attorneys know how to gauge risk; coordinate a crisis response, where needed; conduct effective internal investigations; develop proactive culture, compliance and risk mitigation strategies; and litigate claims, when necessary. We understand the myriad legal issues that can arise during an incident as well as the major drivers of delay and cost during a crisis; we are experienced in managing these situations to avoid common and not-so-common pitfalls.

Our support includes providing guidance on internal communications and public statements, interactions with law enforcement, and interactions with the company’s board of directors and C-suite executives. Our team has developed an outstanding reputation for judgment, sensitivity and sound advice over many years of working on these matters and has been recognized for its careful and successful handling of challenging issues.

Our lawyers have particular knowledge and experience helping organizations deal with situations that do not have traditional winner/loser outcomes. For example, we have an established interdisciplinary sexual misconduct & workplace harassment group, and we have conducted investigative diversity audits.

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

During any crisis management scenario, our clients receive the full benefit of Ropes & Gray’s leading data, privacy & cybersecurity; government enforcement; and E-Discovery practices. Our team includes:

  • Lawyers who excelled as federal prosecutors and enforcement attorneys at U.S. Attorney’s offices, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They understand the complexities of the global regulatory and enforcement environment and of working with government and bring this experience to bear when conducting sensitive investigations.
  • Attorneys with experience across the entire range of cybersecurity incidents, including those that involve theft or loss of data (personal information, trade secrets, and/or confidential business or client information) as well as ransomware, phishing and denial-of-service attacks.
  • E-Discovery specialists who take immediate action to meet the unique preservation requirements associated with the complex forensic data and database resources at the core of such situations, as well as the collection and review of same. We have led the response for some of the largest data incidents in history, including designing the response strategy and managing the preservation, collection and review of data.

Global Coverage

Upon discovery of an incident, we mobilize quickly to begin providing real-time advice—whether that means deploying an on-the-ground team or serving as a global command center to coordinate the response remotely.

Our one-firm philosophy ensures that our clients receive seamless service across our network of 12 offices and 17 time zones. We have an extensive team of privacy and cybersecurity, E-Discovery, and enforcement and investigations attorneys in all our U.S. offices as well as in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Firm-wide, our attorneys are fluent in more than 50 languages and possess an in-depth understanding of our clients’ businesses and industries, as well as the cultural environments in which they operate. We have also built a network of market- and thought-leading local counsel across the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa that we leverage in relation to crisis management matters. These firms are not only best in class, but their clear and practical approach aligns with our own.

Incident Preparedness and Response

Even the most vigilant organizations are susceptible to an unanticipated incident. We leverage our experience managing privileged investigations to advise these organizations and their employees on how best to prepare for a potential crisis and on what steps to take after discovery of an incident.

Our incident preparedness capabilities include:

  • Designing a flexible incident response plan that provides guidance on appropriate investigation, escalation and communication
  • Identifying and engaging appropriate external resources before an incident occurs
  • Conducting tabletop exercises to practice incident response
  • Reviewing logging and other data retention programs to ensure that appropriate information will be available for review by incident response teams

Our incident response capabilities include:

  • Overseeing the forensic investigation of the scope of and reasons for the incident
  • Advising on the implementation of appropriate containment, remediation and enhancement programs
  • Advising on reporting and disclosure obligations under applicable laws
  • Developing e-discovery strategies around preservation, collection and Technology Assisted Review
  • Providing other crisis management support, including guidance on internal and public communications as well as interactions with law enforcement, boards of directors and C-suite executives


A selection of our experience handling crisis management matters includes the following representations:

  • Investigations. Conducted numerous investigations with urgent resolution needs, including a highly publicized and fast-paced internal investigation for a Chilean salmon farming company following accusations published in a national newspaper that the company had been reporting false mortality figures to regulators. We conducted dozens of interviews while coordinating with local counsel and several U.S. and Chilean authorities that initiated inquiries while our investigation was ongoing, demonstrating a keen ability to operate across languages and jurisdictions. We also coordinated responses to various entities and agencies investigating the company and its customers, as well as the press.
  • Former CEO of SolarWinds. Represent the former CEO of SolarWinds in relation to one of the most significant and sophisticated cyber attacks to date. We guided the client through congressional testimony, regulatory investigations, securities fraud and shareholder derivative cases, and Delaware shareholder derivative cases.
  • Crisis Management Planning. Represented global corporation to map out crisis preparedness for multiple potential issues.
  • Bombas. Represent Bombas with respect to multiple investigations by attorneys general and data protection authorities in the EU, Australia and Canada into a data breach potentially affecting more than 75,000 customers, and in the ensuing class-action litigation.
  • Advocate Aurora Health. Represented Advocate Aurora Health in a class action arising from a data incident at one of its constituent hospitals. We recently obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of all claims. We also advised the hospital system on the underlying data incident. Our work included forensic fact development, extensive and rapid legal and factual analysis assessing the scope of the system’s appropriate notifications and executing thereon, and multistate regulator advocacy regarding the particulars of the incident.
  • E-Discovery. Led the E-Discovery strategy around preservation, collection and Technology Assisted Review in an international investigation requiring coordination between business units in several countries as well as several law firms. The enormity and complexity of the investigation required a coordinated cross-border strategy around China’s state secrets laws and non-U.S. data privacy laws.
Timeline of data privacy and cybersecurity incidents
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