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COVID-19: Crisis & Recovery

Developments related to the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, are evolving rapidly. We know that clients are facing issues with respect to the health and well-being of their employees in addition to operating their business. Bracewell has assembled a dedicated, multidisciplinary task force that draws on the firm's deep experience across all practice areas and industries to provide practical, strategic advice to clients facing difficult decisions as this global crisis unfolds.

Our cross-disciplinary team is actively helping numerous clients navigate the many and evolving issues they are facing. Below please find several pertinent resources that you may find useful.


COVID-19 Legislative Update

Access Policy Resolution Group COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Industry Developments

Consumer companies float incentives over mandates for US worker COVID-19 shots

Consumer companies are offering incentives to thousands of their U.S. employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and helping out with government distribution efforts. But so far they have shied away from handing down vaccine mandates. Dollar General Corp. and Aldi Inc. are offering some workers who get vaccinated up to four hours in extra pay.

Be Careful About Vaccine Incentives

As we recently learned, some employers have chosen to wield the carrot rather than the stick when it comes to motivating their employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus by offering them financial incentives instead of threatening them with loss of employment.

Midlevel Associates Are Being Reassigned to Feed the Bankruptcy Beast | The American Lawyer

Featured Product A weekly, curated selection of our international content from around the globe, across the business of law, in-house, regulatory, technology and more, with expert insights from our senior editors. Learn More Recommended Stories Ben Seal | The pandemic has separated clients and lawyers. Client relations professionals are bringing them back together.

Might makes for LNG opportunities - News for the Oil and Gas Sector

Pandemic-driven lockdowns have taken their toll on small companies in every sector, while larger companies can take a longer view on matters, including in the LNG sector. Broadly, there has been a shift away from liquefaction and a new emphasis on downstream plans.

Federal Securities Law: COVID-19

NABL members received the last edition of The Bond Lawyer by email on March 10, 2020. Just one month earlier,
on February 12, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the “Dow”) closed at 29,551.42, its all-time high. Yet on March
6, 2020, we were notified that this year’s Institute had been cancelled. While much of the country had yet to
grasp it, at that moment we were accelerating on the descent of a global roller-coaster ride brought on

Nigeria launches marginal field round - News for the Oil and Gas Sector

Nigeria has officially launched a marginal field bid round, with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) saying 57 fields are available. The round is open to indigenous companies and investors, the DPR said. The fields on offer are on land, swamp and the shallow offshore.

Oil demand has lost its wings, but what next? - News for the Oil and Gas Sector

At a point when the world's economic system is creaking and the oil market is suffering from its own supplementary crisis, it can be hard to imagine what may come next. As talk in Europe and North America shifts to dialling down lockdown provisions, there is a sense the darkest days of oil demand the world has ever seen are coming to an end.

The Emirates Report: Can Law's Gateway to the Middle East Survive the COVID-19 Storm? | Law.com International

Recommended Stories Jennigay Coetzer | Dudu Myeni had been criticised for her role in pulling the airline out of a proposed deal with Emirates airways. Dan Packel | The labor and employment specialists have been in Germany since 2015 and moved into Austria in February. Anna Zhang | Derek Poon advises on private equity transactions.

Are Home Offices Dangerous?

As the world unexpectedly embraced work from home models this spring, home offices and video call backgrounds have become a hot topic. Social media, business articles, and even reputable brands are all buzzing about what our new residential workspaces look like; but no one is talking about how they should perform, and the omission of that single topic could be putting our national workforce at risk.

Handle Whistleblower Complaints with Care

At the height of the healthcare industry's response to COVID-19, some hospital employees gained national attention for their criticism of the lack of personal protective equipment and supposed failings by their employers. Some employers appeared to retaliate against those whistleblowers, raising questions about how such complaints should be handled.

What will VAT increase in Saudi Arabia mean for PPPs?

Riyadh announced on 11 May that VAT in the kingdom would be increased to 15 per cent from the current 5 per cent from 1 July 2020. Andrej Kormuth, Partner, Bracewell, Dubai writes about the possible implications of the VAT increase on public-private partnerships in the region's largest energy ...

Wearables could be key for worker safety as warehouses, manufacturers eager to reopen

As warehouse and factory owners ponder how to reopen their facilities while keeping workers safe, wearables have emerged as potential solution. Could RFID-enabled goggles buzz workers if they get too close to one another other? Could a wristband provide biometric feedback to let a worker know if he or she might be sick?

Upstream financing: viruses, oil prices and climate change

Casting one’s mind back to the days before COVID-19 and the recent collapse of the oil price (at the time of writing the price of Brent crude is 60% of its price at the start of the year), the most pressing challenge facing upstream oil and gas companies
was the growing emphasis by investors on ESG (environmental,
social and governance) and, associated with that, the ‘energy transition’ (a term with no precise definition but which broadly is taken to mean the shift in the energy industry away from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, to respond to the challenge of climate change).

COVID-19: Strange Times, Familiar Principles

In today’s markets, Islamic finance and conventional products represent well-established financial instruments for both the project finance and bank finance sectors. Although Islamic jurisprudence requires that Islamic finance transactions conform to the established principles of the prohibition of Riba (interest), Gharar (speculation) and Maysir
(uncertainty), Islamic scholars have succeeded in developing products that resemble conventional finance products and can be utilized seamlessly. However, unlike its conventional financing counterpart, Islamic fi nance usually retains strong elements of equity participation and risk-sharing.

Oil companies assess finances amid Covid-19 and pricing war

As the oil market reels from shocks on both the demand and supply side, exploration and production (E&P) companies are reviewing and restructuring loan agreements in a bid to free up capital and ensure long-term security.

Force majeure limitations in the power sector | MEED

The worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 has caused global uncertainty for organisations, governments and individuals, and the legal fraternity has been busy producing client posts, dressing and redressing Covid-19 in the illusive cloak of force majeure.

Coronavirus Contract Disputes Start Hitting the Courts

Companies are suspending or terminating business agreements by relying on a common but rarely invoked escape hatch in the fine print of many commercial contracts, as the new coronavirus and government measures to slow its spread upend the economy. Known as "act of God" clauses-or "force majeure," French for "superior force"-the provision has been cited in court cases across the U.S.

INSIGHT: First Comes Federal Money-Then Increased Enforcement

The $2 trillion federal stimulus under the CARES Act will invariably attract many first-time participants to the federal marketplace. Bracewell attorneys say newcomers and smalll businesses should proceed with caution and give tips on how to prepare for compliance now.

Pandemic Upends Lives Of Legal Job-Changers - Law360

Changing jobs is an intense process under the best of circumstances. But for lawyers making a move during the coronavirus pandemic, unexpected challenges have made for a harder landing. Here, attorneys who recently changed firms or even started new ones tell Law360 of their experience amid the outbreak.

Daily Energy Markets Commentary - New Silk Road "PODCAST" Wednesday April 15th, 2020 by Gulf Intelligence

Mike Muller, Director of Oil Business Development & Head of Trading, Vitol Asia, Dr. Leila R. Benali, Chief Economist, APICORP and Andrej Kormuth, Partner, Bracewell LLP, joined us on today's Live Daily Oil Commentary to share their insights on current market dynamics.

Offshore Regulators Halt Public Covid-19 Reporting

Federal agencies in charge of regulating the safety of oil and gas operations in the US Gulf of Mexico have stopped offering public updates on the spread of Covid-19 on offshore facilities as the number of cases continues to rise.

US EPA opens door to waivers for coronavirus, but observers downplay impact

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headquarters building in Washington, D.C. Source: AP Images The Trump administration in recent days has signaled it could give vast swaths of the U.S. economy, including the energy sector, waivers from certain federal environmental regulations in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

TCEQ To Use Discretion In Enforcing Rules Amid Pandemic - Law360

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's chairman on Monday said that even though the commission has loosened some reporting requirements and will exercise enforcement discretion as it faces the threat of the novel coronavirus, it will continue to enforce key public health rules.

APPROPRIATIONS: Focus on emergency may sideline spending bills

APPROPRIATIONS New spending for energy and environmental agencies not tied to the novel coronavirus could be delayed until next year - yet another way the pandemic is upending how Capitol Hill and agencies operate.

Coronavirus casts a spotlight on risks facing food workers, employers

At Dr. Praeger's Purely Sensible Foods in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, as many as 125 workers dutifully come into work each day to produce its popular frozen veggie burgers, chicken tenders and other items made from plants.

Analysis | The Energy 202: Struggling U.S. oil companies hope for more economic help in next coronavirus stimulus package

The struggling U.S. oil industry got no special bailout in the huge coronavirus stimulus package signed by President Trump on Friday . But the political fight over money to help the oil sector is far from over.

How the Coronavirus Paid Leave Rules Apply to You

With new rules expanding paid sick and family leave going into effect April 1, small businesses are scrambling to figure out which parts of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act apply to them and how to comply. Here are answers to many of the questions people are asking.

Families First Act Creates New Employer Obligations

The recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) creates new obligations for employers in an attempt to relieve economic pain felt by their employees arising from the ongoing epidemic—but it also offers tax credits to defray the cost.

Sen. Burr asks Senate Ethics Committee for review of his stock sales amid uproar over possible influence of coronavirus briefings

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) sought an ethics review Friday of his recent sale of more than $1.7 million in stocks as he and other lawmakers faced a bipartisan uproar over whether they had used information gleaned from private congressional briefings to guide transactions before the market plummeted because of the coronavirus outbreak.

'An immediate and dramatic business concern:' How COVID-19 is disrupting the energy sector

The economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic could cause widespread disruptions in the energy sector, tightening demand, jeopardizing supply chains, diverting regulatory attention and negating previous growth forecasts for solar and storage deployment, according to financial analysts and industry experts.