General Counsel


 

Available either on retainer or on a case by case basis to manage some or all of an organization's legal affairs. Provide advice to senior management, executives and the board concerning current laws, risks and liabilities associated with the day to day operations, deal-making, potential litigation and workouts, sales, marketing and real estate sales, acquisitions and financing. Can draft and review written agreements.  Mitigate risks and legal costs and liabilities.  Establish prudent legal strategies to manage litigation and direct outside counsel. 

 


What is the best advice you can offer small business owners trying to prioritize their legal affairs to re-open and survive after the coronavirus pandemic?

Well, cash is king.  You must make every dollar last as long as possible.  First, have a plan to try to take care of your employees.  The government is offering forgivable loans (PPPs)  to encourage employers to try to keep more people on their payrolls. Investigate and apply.  Second, stay in touch with your customers, lenders, landlords and venders.  You need to call your landlords and lenders BEFORE you miss any payments.  Let them know your problems are all attributed to the coronavirus.  Federal regulators are giving banks some room to negotiate modifications to loans as long as the modifications are clearly needed due to hardships resulting from the pandemic.  You need to make this very clear from the beginning.  You can try to negotiate loan forebearances of between 3 to 6 months.  As far as landlords and rent relief, hopefully more landlords will follow the lead of Publix who stepped up to offer tenants in their company owned centers, a couple months rent relief.

It should be no surprise to anyone that it will be very difficult and next to impossible for you and everyone else to perform prior contracts, whether it be to pay bills or to provide previously agreed goods or services services. This is not the time for anyone to try to squeeze blood from a stone, declare defaults, impose penalties or file lawsuits. Instead, this is a time for rational businessmen, lenders and creditors to sit down, review their situations and all give a little to preserve not break business relationships.  If that doesn't work, I would expect to see a flood of new Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings to restructure debts and other contracts through the courts.