Taft Law has announced today that it has adopted a three-part approach to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic, as described below.
Health and Safety Measures
Taft is deeply committed to the health and safety of its clients, personnel and business guests. In an effort to ensure the implementation of best practices for the safest workplace possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the past few weeks, the firm has implemented and is continuing to implement a remote-work policy throughout all of its offices, with only minimal in-office staffing for essential functions. Taft also has adopted and follows recommended best practices of the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization related to social distancing, sanitation of workplaces, and other related guidelines.
100% Client Service Levels
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm has continued to operate at full capacity – with its normal best-of-class response times – and with the full range of its service offerings. In addition, to address the evolving needs of its clients, Taft launched a multidisciplinary firm-wide COVID-19 Task Force in early March. The Taft COVID-19 Task Force proactively advises clients on all aspects of COVID-19 and publishes daily or more regular updates and guidance of new developments via Taft’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Toolkit.
Proactive Financial Planning
Taft substantially out-performed its budgets in 2018 and 2019 and is performing ahead of budget through March 31, 2020. As a result of conservative financial management, Taft maintains a strong balance sheet and liquidity. Notwithstanding its strong financial position, as a result of the significant disruption to the global and United States economies that already has occurred as well as the anticipated, pervasive effects of COVID-19 that almost certainly will disrupt those economies for the next several months, Taft adopted a comprehensive COVID-19 Financial Plan, effective April 1. Under Taft’s COVID-19 Financial Plan, all partner draws were reduced by 25% and minimal reductions – spread across all of its seven primary offices – were made in attorney headcount (1.4% firm wide) and staff headcount (3.5% firm wide). Given the significant uncertainty of COVID-19’s financial impact on the firm’s many clients, the forward-looking plan contemplates multiple scenarios and pivot points to help firm leadership select the best course of action based on future information and conditions as they develop.
“We are very thankful for our size, scale and financial strength, together with the remarkable loyalty and culture of our clients and personnel. These advance, conservative measures are merely intended to add to our existing strong financial and liquidity positions so that we can better weather the COVID-19 storm while we help guide our clients through this time,” states Taft’s Chairman and Managing Partner Robert J. Hicks. “Taft prides itself on looking forward and never hesitating to invest in or protect our future. We view this proactive approach as the appropriate and best practice in this situation.”
At present, Taft does not intend to adopt the approach of making across the board reductions in the headcount or compensation of its administrative staff or associates, counsel or staff attorneys. Instead, consistent with the employer-of-choice workplace culture that is one of Taft’s hallmarks, the Taft partners intend to shoulder the primary economic burden of COVID-19.