Being a key player in a firm’s foreign office – in this case, in New York – is a challenge and a great responsibility, now more than ever. Tell us how you are facing the situation caused by COVID-19 both personally and professionally, taking into account the significant impact that the coronavirus is having in the USA and your background as a resident partner in NY.
Indeed, simply representing a great firm like Pérez-Llorca in New York and leading our Latin American desk from here is a great responsibility, but also an honour and a privilege. Lockdown began in New York just as I was on my way back from Madrid where I was working on a transaction. On a personal level, we (my wife, my two children and I) have been self-isolating in our Manhattan apartment, and I have been working from home ever since. My wife devotes her time to organising and coordinating donations for groups and institutions affected by COVID-19, and my children have been attending their usual school classes online. The advantage of lockdown here is that we can go out freely, though we have to wear a mask. On a professional level, I have the advantage of having already experienced the 2008 financial crisis as a partner at Pérez-Llorca, an experience that is really helping me in facing this current crisis. I would conclude by saying that I have seen three stages of the COVID-19 crisis so far:
1.A situation of panic
Clients asked us for constant updates on the legislative measures that were being approved or that were intended to be approved. There was confusion and panic. The days were very intense, there were no schedules or weekends, but it was understandable because our clients needed clarity and urgent responses to all the new developments.
After a few weeks, clients were more or less clear about the situation they were facing and we started to help them address some issues relating to cost reduction, staffing, finding additional funding, starting refinancing and even various Insolvency and Litigation issues.
We are now in a situation where our clients are thinking about reopening and above all about the future of their employees and businesses. Everything points to the fact that the crisis will last several years and they want to adapt as soon as possible to what seems to be the new normality.
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