Big firms put crisis management on their practice rosters

Three of Michigan’s larger law firms recently launched crisis management teams, to help handle financial stresses in municipalities and school districts, in addition to maintaining corporate reputations.

First, Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, P.C. is using the political, public relations and legal expertise of Daniel Cherrin in its Crisis Management, Litigation and Strategic Communications practice group.

The former communications director for the City of Detroit, Cherrin will lead a team of public policy attorneys and lobbyists in helping clients address major legislative challenges at local, state and federal levels.

In addition, he said, “We are equipped to assist clients in every aspect of a corporate crisis, from avoiding crises in the first place, to the initial response and serving as the onsite spokesperson, to assisting the company with any ongoing investigations and, if necessary, litigation or regulatory and legislative support.”

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has started an Emergency Manager Law Team, with an online news and analysis resource to supplement it.

This comes in the wake of the state Legislature’s expansion of authority for government-appointed emergency managers under the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act.

Specialists in government affairs, municipal law, bankruptcy, financial services, litigation, labor and other related areas make up the team. A microsite,, will serve as a clearinghouse of information from state government, news reports and editorials, think tanks, research councils and other sources to provide up-to-date details on the law and its effectiveness.

The newest venture at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. is a Sustainable Government Initiative, to focus on helping municipalities and school districts address fiscal challenges and fundamental change, while capitalizing on opportunities for increased efficiencies and innovation.

“With the State moving quickly to impose new requirements, we can help clients develop strategic direction and find opportunities that may not be obvious,” said group member Amanda Van Dusen.

The group will offer assistance with consent, intergovernmental and shared services agreements; pension, benefit reviews, restructuring; litigation audits; and property transfers and alternative uses.

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