By Michael Petro, originally published in Buffalo Business First on 1/23/17.

Phillips Lytle formalizes crisis response and management practice

Phillips Lytle LLP has formed what it calls the first of its kind practice team in the Upstate New York region in crisis response and management.

The team will respond to scenarios such as environmental catastrophes, fires, spills or explosions, product tampering and recalls, food contamination, changes in corporate senior management, bioterrorism, government investigations, labor strikes, natural disasters, technology and data security breaches and Internet and website threats.

It will include 14 attorneys from across the firm’s eight offices with specialties in crisis policy preparation, data breach, product recall, environmental and government investigations. Jennifer Beckage and Morgan Graham will serve as co-team leaders for the practice.

Officials say Phillips Lytle is the first law firm in Upstate New York to offer crisis response services as a comprehensive practice.

Beckage said the firm has provided these types of services to clients for decades, so formalizing the practice made sense.

“(It) will give our clients a clear understanding of the services we can offer them before, during and after a crisis,” she said. The firm also advises clients on crisis planning, from drafting policies to on-site training to public relations and crisis communications.

“Our firm’s history of working on a wide range of crises made this a natural fit,” said Graham, a former managing partner of the firm.