Major, fundamental corporate disputes have the potential to put a whole company under stress and ultimately into crisis mode. Just think of the emergency automotive company Volkswagen was facing when the first rumours about alleged manipulations of their cars’ software system emerged. Massive numbers of local and worldwide civil actions, various authorities’ investigations in multiple countries simultaneously, and devastating reputational damage was to be expected from day one.

The cause and nature of a legal dispute crisis might vary, but the way to react and how to prepare in time show similar patterns and require prepared responses. A significant number of tasks and interested parties need to be dealt with simultaneously and some are occasionally forgotten – a mistake that comes with a high price, as does failure to engage not only specifically experienced advisers, such as litigation PR experts rather than general PR specialists, or the right forensic experts.

Understanding the nature of a crisis better enables a company’s management to prepare its reaction in time while still allowing the periodic implementation of useful precautionary steps, reducing later, critical ‘unforced errors’ to a minimum.

Oct-Dec 2017 issue