Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Full Co-operation: The New York Times takes a look at the crisis management approach of Greenberg Traurig, the Washington law firm where disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff plied his dishonest trade. According to the Times, "his actions have threatened the firm's very existence by leaving it vulnerable to malpractice claims."

The company's response appears to be textbook crisis management.

Greenberg Traurig rushed to distance itself from Mr. Abramoff, appease his clients and work closely with prosecutors. In the process it has earned praise for its cooperation from Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, kept alive the possibility of suing Mr. Abramoff for its losses and negotiated financial settlements with most of Mr. Abramoff's victims.

"They have taken the new approach that most corporations or institutions take in today's world, which is just completely cooperate with the investigation," said David Schertler, a former federal prosecutor who practices at Schertler & Onorato in Washington. "Once they find out about some wrongdoing, they completely distance themselves from the person that was doing it." He added that for Greenberg Traurig, "that does seem to have been pretty effective."

That doesn't mean Greenberg Traurig will walk away unscathed. But so far it has not been tarred in the media with the same brush as its former employee.

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