Law360 recently featured Jones Walker lawyers in two articles discussing the legal implications that Texas businesses will face following the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. The publication turned to Houston-based partner Krystal Pfluger Scott and Baton Rouge-based partner Davis B. “Pepper” Allgood to share their knowledge.
Scott was quoted in a Law360 article, “5 Biggest Client Questions After Hurricane Harvey.” She discusses how Jones Walker is providing legal guidance to clients who have concerns about employee benefits, commercial leasing disputes, insurance claims, contractual obligations, and property damage. She explains that many of the firm’s clients in the greater Houston area are small and midsized businesses that face the dilemma of taking care of their workers while keeping their business operations sound. Scott notes that “The generosity is so consistent in our clients and how they are managing that question.”
Clients are also seeking advice about how Harvey will affect leases after extensive property damage and business closures. Scott advises that when these disputes arise, it is best to look at specific leasing situations separately as every agreement is different. And, on the transactional side of property damage, Scott said that Jones Walker lawyers are drafting construction contracts to protect clients against potential breaches by contractors. Lawyers are also advising clients on flood protection measures.
Scott remains optimistic, saying, “People love this city and they want to be in business here. It’s just a question of how we do that without suffering the same kind of loss again.”
Allgood, Baton Rouge-based Construction team partner, was quoted in a Law360 article, “Disaster Response Has Unique Hazards for Contractors.” Allgood discusses key legal and regulatory issues faced by contractors participating in the recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
Rebuilding efforts will require billions of dollars, which presents significant opportunities for contractors. The challenge in short-term emergency situations is a potential conflict between state and federal laws and requirements. Allgood advises contractors to seek legal counsel “…to make sure that the rules are going to be followed, particularly if there’s a lot of money involved.” He recommends this because many entities will need to turn to the federal government for assistance in paying contractors, which is not always guaranteed and can result in disputes. Allgood cautions against relying upon local governments, even amid time pressures of the rebuilding efforts.