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Supply Chain Stabilization Solutions

Supply chains are becoming increasingly disrupted in the wake of COVID-19. Financial stress, reduced workforce, government-ordered shutdowns and border closures, among other things, are impacting the flow of goods and services across industries, including, in particular, retail and consumer markets, infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, chemicals, financial services, oil and gas, technology and more. Stabilizing your supply chains quickly is critical in sustaining business operations now and going forward.

McCarthy Tétrault is here to help with a holistic assessment and stabilization plan for your supply chain providing insights based on our industry and cross-sectoral experience, including:

Rapid Review of Contracts

We are able to quickly review all of your relevant supply contracts and key provisions to assess impacts to your business, including by using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. We provide advice and assistance across a diverse range of supply chain issues, including:

Contractual Rights and Obligations 

  • Force Majeure clauses, including interpretation where there is no clause or a legislated Force Majeure provision
  • Contract review to identify frustration risk and termination provisions
  • Risk allocation, indemnification and insurance obligations
  • Rights and obligations when there is no contract or only a purchase order and/or invoice standard terms and conditions
  • Regulatory compliance obligations

Issues Management

  • Government issues such as wage top ups, emergency supplies, bail outs and loan funds
  • Supplier interruptions, new supplier qualification, termination of suppliers
  • Loans and payment obligations, including deferral agreements from lenders and landlords
  • Responses to government requests for goods and services including emergency seizures of goods
  • Overseas manufacturing, trade agreements, transportation issues
  • Inventory management including rationing and warehousing

Trade Supply Chain Management

  • Supply chain-specific contract review to confirm obligations, options, and notification compliance
  • Insurance product review to consider application to supply chain risk
  • Transportation and logistics management
  • Trade agreement impact on supply chains, including location of new supply source jurisdictions and strategic cost-savings options
  • Application of new CBSA customs programs to temporarily suspend or relieve the applications of customs duties
  • Impact of export controls on supply chain and associated risk mitigation
  • Development support for an effective internal supply chain management review strategy

Regulatory Impact of Supply Chain Management

  • Product mix review to determine if there are regulated products that could be produced elsewhere
  • “Fast-track” programs for certain emergency goods where applicable

Insolvency/Bankruptcy of Vendors/Customers

  • Creative solutions to keep supply chains going, including deferred payment agreements and financing arrangements
  • Asset protection in the supply chain

Other Financial Considerations

  • Coverage review under existing insurance policies and damages calculations
  • Cash or debt obligations for equity investments or buy outs of other companies in the supply chain, risk allocation, indemnification and insurance
  • Tax implications of financial arrangements

Workforce Management

  • The protection of the health and safety of the workplace, including social distancing, self-monitoring, self-isolation and quarantine; workplace sanitization practices and personal protection equipment; illness reporting and response, including privacy concerns; and work refusals and requests for leaves of absence
  • Workforce measures to deal with business slowdown and/or non-essential business closures, including hiring freezes and cancellation of future employment agreements; hours or pay reduction, status changes and work-sharing arrangements; leaves of absence; vacation, sick leave and accrued paid time off; temporary layoffs and recall; employment Insurance, Canada Emergency Response Benefit & Supplementary Unemployment Benefits Plans; and terminations
  • Employee communications, contract revisions and other documents
  • Regulatory issues arising from workforce matters, including reporting of COVID-19 cases

Rapid Dispute Resolution

  • Resolution of log jams created by disputes with your suppliers or customers so that you can continue to operate
  • Interim, non-binding arbitration to enable expedited negotiated settlements to support business continuity