Cuts in operating expenses and salaries, postponement of hiring and investments in IT, among others, were some of the measures adopted by many of the large offices in the United States to face the crisis caused by the pandemic, explained the Brazilian Cristina Carvalho, managing partner of the Arent Fox firm, which is based in Washington and since January last year has absorbed the operations of Boston’s Posternak Blankstein & Lund. The comment was part of the webinar “New Challenges in the Administration of Law Firms” promoted by ABPI on July 9th,with the participation of ABPI’s president Luiz Edgard Montaury Pimenta, and the association’s counselor, Antonella Carminatti.
According to Cristina Carvalho, since last March, the firm has been preparing to face the pandemic. In addition to the closing of the headquarters in Washington and four units in other states in mid-March, which resulted in the remote working for the entire team, the firm equipped the administrative area with laptops, increased the Internet bandwidth, and hired a second server to meet new demands. On another front, lawyers of the board immersed themselves in the study of the new government regulations on Covid-19 and started conducting webinars and writing legal articles on the subject.
When addressing the governance topic, the managing partner detailed the system for evaluating and promoting the firm’s lawyers. She also highlighted the socially responsible actions taken by Arent Fox, such as internal committees that address gender diversity and racial minorities. “Customers also believe this is important and large American companies are keen to hire offices that embrace diversity”, she said.
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