Clifford Chance aids panic prevention CD

CLIFFORD Chance has played a key role in producing a CD-Rom which aims to help companies cope with disasters such as the loss of a major customer, kidnapping or workplace violence.

The firm's head of public policy Richard Thomas joined with experts from the fields of communications, law, finance, insurance, security and risk management to create the CD-Rom-based crisis management package, produced by the communications company Hill & Knowlton.

The CD-Rom, known as Prompt rps – which stands for reputation protection system – promises to help companies avoid or at least minimise disasters.

It can be tailored to the individual needs of companies and is available either on its own for £500 or for an extra fee as part of a wider service-oriented package including a 24-hour on-call facility and training workshops.

Prompt rps consists of an electronic manual which uses a browser and guides the user through a seven-step process to assess the risks they face, build a crisis management team and test their crisis procedures.

Thomas, who wrote the legal section of the CD-Rom package, said it was the first product of its kind.

He said the legal contribution consisted of advice on how to bring an injunction, what to do if accused of a crime, when judicial review might be appropriate and how to challenge regulatory bodies such as health inspectors visiting a factory.

He said the CD-Rom could help companies avoid litigation and insurance claims.

Experts from accountants Deloitte & Touche and environmental consultants Dames & Moore also contributed to the package.

Hill & Knowlton crisis director David Brotzen said: "We live in the age of accountability.

"Many companies either ignore the threat of a crisis happening to them or produce weighty planning manuals which usually stay on the shelf unread. Smaller companies often believe expert crisis advice is out of their financial reach."