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10 Jun 2020

Law firms prepare for corporate lawsuits challenging govts. over COVID-19 emergency measures

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More than 20 corporate law firms have offered their services to multinational corporations planning to sue governments over pandemic response measures, according to the Transnational Institute and the Corporate Europe Observatory.

These lawsuits would allege that State measures intended to combat Covid-19 and its socioeconomic consequences have negatively impacted company profits. Measures that could face challenges include debt and rent relief; steps to make vaccines and treatment more affordable; and state acquisition of private hospitals.

Corporations are able to use Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanisms to sue States directly in international tribunals. Lawmakers have heavily criticized the potential lawsuits.