CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATEMarch 22, 2020
As the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, we assure our clients that Cullen and Dykman is continually monitoring events and updating its action plan so as to remain prepared to serve our clients. The well-being of our community, the health and safety of our employees and clients as well as our continuing commitment and dedication to serving our clients remain of paramount importance to us.
The firm’s Business Continuity Team is continually meeting as events unfold and the Firm has adopted, and continually updates – around the clock – a critical action plan to maintain secure business operations at the levels our clients have come to expect. We recognize that our clients will need consistent, dependable and accurate services now more than ever. Every group in the firm (IT, the Executive Committee, Department Heads, Practice Groups, Accounting, HR, Office Managers) are in constant communication and continually adapting to the evolving situation. We encourage our clients to contact the Firm’s Department Heads at any time to discuss these plans and the Firm’s operations.
Status of Offices
Adherence to Government Guidelines – The Firm remains fully operational while we continue to remain vigilant as to our obligations to our clients as well as to the health and safety of our employees and the larger community. In accordance with government guidance, Cullen and Dykman has shifted to implementing full remote-work operations. We are constantly assessing the evolving situation and taking all steps to comply with current government guidelines while maintaining full-service remote-work capabilities. As of Tuesday, March 17, our attorneys and essential staff now work remotely full-time. In addition, we evaluate the need for essential in-office personnel to provide services to essential businesses. The Firm is committed to its continued adherence to government guidelines and to doing its part to help protect our community, our clients and our personnel.
Remote Access Capabilities - The Firm is 100% operational on all levels in a fully-tested remote environment, 24-hours per day. The Firm’s IT staff is dedicated to around-the-clock monitoring of our systems which are providing constant, active and uninterrupted service. All attorneys and staff remain connected to our clients via phone and email as well as to the Firm’s databases, document production systems and other Firm processes. Our commitment is to provide the same level of service that our clients have come to expect, as well as to take steps to protect our employees and the public. We encourage our clients to contact the Firm’s Department Heads directly with any questions they may have regarding our remote operations.
Each department is continually conducting extensive meetings and planning to continue to implement remote-working capabilities, with no interruption in service. All clients should feel free to contact any Department Head to discuss any concerns of special needs.
While Cullen and Dykman already conducts hundreds of remote or “escrow” closings nationally, some of those protocols may be unfamiliar to certain lenders who may utilize “sit-down” or in-person closings. The leaders of transactional practice groups have shifted to remote or “escrow” closings where parties exchange documents electronically or by overnight mail. We are also continually monitoring the latest updates from title insurers as they adapt to the current situation. All clients should feel free to contact the Firm’s transactional attorneys to discuss escrow closing procedures, should they need to be implemented. In addition, other counsel should not hesitate to contact Cullen and Dykman attorneys to coordinate closing procedures.
Travel has been curtailed in accordance with governmental guidance. Given the current international travel restrictions, we currently have no employees expected to return from overseas. Previously, and in accordance with CDC protocol, any employees who traveled overseas to affected areas were required to self-quarantine for at least 14 days prior to returning to the office.
Cullen and Dykman is monitoring and following all CDC guidelines, including travel-related quarantine, noted above, and advising any personnel who feel ill to self-quarantine.
Cullen and Dykman is monitoring this situation at every level of the Firm and continues to implement all health guidelines and office protocols.
We wish all clients, personnel and their families good health and safety and we are prepared to discuss our actions with any client who may need more information.
If you have questions, feel free to contact Christopher H. Palmer at (516) 296-9127 or via email at CPalmer@cullenllp.com.