GCs & the pandemic: how legal responded

Reflections on the year that changed everything - from the GCs of Stripe, Deliveroo, Revolut & more

With a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic upon us, businesses need strong leadership from legal like never before. To mark a year since the US and UK's first lockdowns, GCs and CLOs from some of the world's fastest-growing companies reflect on their role in helping the business survive and thrive in the face of uncertainty.

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Read the inside story

Legal leaders from those companies most affected share their first-hand experiences from lawyers as they navigated their company through the crisis. What does a travel company do when flights are grounded? What does a real estate marketplace do when nobody can view houses? What does a brewer do when all bars close, everywhere?

Wilson Sonsini's Daniel Glazer introduces the inside story from the lawyers that lived it, including GCs from Stripe, Deliveroo, Hopin, BrewDog, Trainline, Secret Escapes, Zoopla and Revolut. 

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Introduction

Daniel Glazer, Managing Partner at Wilson Sonsini London, introduces this eBook by exploring the challenges presented by the pandemic - and how in-house lawyers have fared in uncharted waters.

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Daniel Glazer

Managing Partner, Wilson Sonsini London
Chapter 1

"How are we going to keep our riders safe?"

As one of the largest food delivery platforms in the world, how do you cope with demand that soars overnight, while keeping your employees and customers safe and feeding the nation?

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Chantelle Zemba

General Counsel, Deliveroo
Chapter 2

"Everybody was scrutinizing their force majeure clauses"

When the property market came to a shuddering halt - and then started up again without warning, how did legal support the business and its customers to keep the housing market moving?

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Amelia Guilfoyle

General Counsel, Zoopla
Chapter 3

"How do we get our customers home?"

The travel industry is used to dealing with crises - but a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic is another level altogether. How did Secret Escapes' legal team support the business and protect its customers?

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James Russell-Jones

Head of Legal, Secret Escapes
Chapter 4

"How could we sustain revenue streams contingent on travel?"

The pandemic presented both challenges and opportunities for fintechs. How did Revolut's legal team support business growth while confronting uncertainty caused by the global travel shutdown?

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Tom Hambrett

General Counsel, Revolut
Chapter 5

"Every aspect of our business was suddenly at risk"

When your business relies primarily on hospitality, lockdown creates a commercial minefield to navigate. Read how BrewDog's legal team relied on an agile and responsive mindset to help the business pivot.

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Richard Street

General Counsel, BrewDog
Chapter 6

"Hopin reached double unicorn status in 18 months"

400+ hires, two acquisitions, and 'double unicorn' status in less than 18 months. How did virtual events platform Hopin adapt to the unique opportunities of 2020, and what role did legal play in the company's phenomenal growth?

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Irene Liu

Chief Legal Officer, Hopin
Chapter 7

"The minute you thought you understood the restriction, it changed again"

What does a train and coach ticketing company do when trains and coaches stop running? Find out how Trainline's legal team helped customers and mitigated risk in a rapidly changing environment.

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Neil Murrin

General Counsel, Trainline
Chapter 8

"How could we connect financially distressed users to resources?"

In lockdown, Stripe helped the federal government and welcomed 300,000 new businesses to online commerce. How did legal support these initiatives whilst taking a pre-IPO scaleup fully remote?

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Trish Walsh

General Counsel, Stripe
Chapter 9

Conclusion: reflections on a year like no other

The role of the GC has evolved during the pandemic. In this closing chapter, we take inventory of the new responsibilities GCs have taken on, and look to the future of the post-pandemic lawyer.

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Richard Mabey

CEO & co-founder, Juro

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