It’s High Noon for Dawn Raid Apps: Why Top Law Firms Are Jumping on Crisis Response Apps

Until recently the legal industry, along with other professional services organizations, were lagging behind in terms of how they were using mobile. However, a surge in demand has resulted in law firms finding a series of compelling use cases for mobile, and specifically, mobile and web applications.

One of the most common use cases for law firms to integrate into their organization is the crisis response app.

Crisis Response apps are created with three distinctive purposes in mind:

  • To provide clients with the reassurance of always being no more than two taps away from a legal rapid response team
  • To provide quick-read guidance on how to prevent and prepare for an emergency legal event
  • To enable in-house counsel to inform and prepare the wider company about how to react to an emergency legal event

Would your law firm be interested in providing their employees with any of the above? If so, we’ve compiled this article to outline what a typical crisis response app will look like and what features you could consider including. We’ve also added examples of crisis response apps that law firms have already created.

What does the ideal crisis response app look like?

As personalised as possible

Make clients feel like the plans were prepared exclusively for them (consider languages, jurisdictions, security options, etc.)

Advice by jurisdiction

Offer different lists for different jurisdictions, covering the relevant authorities.

Preparation checklists

A customisable preparation checklist:

  • Enter the people to be notified of an ongoing raid/emergency
  • Enter a custom message for those recipients

Emergency action

  • Automatically contact lawyers in all relevant jurisdictions
  • Automatically contact the custom list of people (secretaries, PR team, in-house lawyers, IT) with instructions for what to do next.
  • Ensure that users are never more than 2 taps away from contact, 24/7
  • Someone always “on call” via a call forwarding system
  • Immediate helpful tips on how to handle the emergency event. These are preferably interactive and could even have different helpful tips depending on the user’s role.

Training drills

  • Exercises or scenarios to prepare different teams for an emergency situation
  • Tips on how to handle the situation, personalised by the user’s role (lawyer, receptionist, IT, etc.)

Complementary information

Links to videos/training/documentation for complementary services like reputation management, health and safety, cybersecurity, etc.

Specialist finder

Instead of presenting a long list of undifferentiated lawyers, have filters so people can find the right expert for their circumstance or offer the most appropriate contact after asking a few questions.

How to structure your crisis response app

We’ve created a wireframe which reflects a suggested structure for a dawn raid/crisis response app. It takes the best features from all examples, and makes optimizations to maximise convenience.

Note, the appearance, font and layout used are not relevant in this wireframe, it’s purely for organizational purposes.


The mechanism to create a 24/7 hotline is simple and can be created via a call forwarding system across different phone numbers.

Now that you’ve gained insight as to what you should include in an ideal crisis response app, and how you should structure it, it’s helpful to assess what other firms in the legal industry have already accomplished.

11 Examples of crisis response apps

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie created the  Global Antitrust Dawn Raid app which sets out step-by-step guidance on what to do and what not to do in an emergency situation. It covers 9 jurisdictions and you can access full support from an antitrust specialist directly with one tap.


Key features:

  • Advice for antitrust dawn raids
  • Raid notification to pre-configured contacts in the user’s jurisdictions
  • Automatic instructions for the relevant jurisdiction
  • List of lawyers
  • Camera access to send pictures

Bird & Bird

The Bird & Bird Dawn Raid app is designed to give you key information for before, during and after a dawn raid. It covers your obligations and rights, allowing you to minimise disruption and protect your business.


The app also features frequently asked questions and emergency Bird & Bird contacts to provide clients with support at their fingertips.

Key features:

  • Advice for the 4 key stages of an investigation
  • FAQs
  • List of lawyers

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co developed ‘ClydeCovered’, a tool to take the guesswork out of whether employees have a notifiable safety incident on their hands. The app automatically identifies your location and the jurisdiction you are in using GPS.


Key features:

  • Advice for safety at work
  • Automatically detects location
  • Interactive Q&A experience
  • Incident guidance
  • List of lawyers

DeBrauw Blackstone Westbroek

The “Dawn Raid App” of international law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek provides users with practical guidance to help companies in case of a dawn raid by regulators and criminal authorities in the Netherlands.


Key features:

  • Advice for dawn raids
  • Preparation instructions
  • Dawn Raid FAQs
  • List of lawyers
  • Download to phone

DLA Piper

The Rapid Response app offers legal crisis assistance at the touch of a button. You can contact your local emergency hotline 24/7, and the app contains tips and information on how to handle a crisis scenario.


Key features:

  • Advice for raids and document seizures
  • Preparation instructions
  • List of phone numbers


The objective of the “Fidal Antitrust Alert” application is to enable key people in companies and professional federations to respond to critical situations their organization may face involving antitrust law and procedures.


The app consists of two main parts; one, antitrust inspections, and two, Day-to-day antitrust compliance.

Key features:

  • Preparation advice
  • Emergency response advice
  • Applicable law guide
  • List of lawyers
  • French and English bilingual

Herbert Smith Freehills

The CrisisPM app provides convenient and immediate guidance on responding in the first 24 hours of a crisis. This includes First Response Checklists and Issues to Consider across a range of crisis scenarios.


Key features:

  • Advice for multiple crises
  • Preparation instructions
  • List of lawyers
  • Not just Dawn Raids, but also Defamation/ Reputation, Health/ Safety/ Environmental, Human Rights.

Holman Fenwick Willan

“Maritime Emergency Response” is designed to provide immediate 24-hour emergency support to the maritime industry, helping ship owners, managers, charterers and insurers in particular to respond to maritime incidents in time critical situations.


Key features:

  • Incident reporting
  • 24/7 emergency line
  • Incident history
  • List of lawyers

Houthoff Buruma

The HB Dawn Raid App provides enterprises of legal information on (un)expected dawn raids by Dutch authorities. The app provides a brief summary of employee rights and obligations during a dawn raid and is intended to serve as a guide on how to act when receiving a visit from the different Dutch Authorities.


Key features:

  • Advice for dawn raids
  • Real time raid notification (24/7 phone line)
  • Preparation instructions
  • Dawn Raid FAQs
  • List of lawyers
  • Dawn Raid News
  • Bilingual (En, Nl)


The KPMG Forensic crisis management helps companies that are acutely affected by economic crimes or who want to take preventive measures.


Key features:

  • Emergency preparation
  • Emergency advice
  • Crisis blog RSS feed
  • Crisis-related PDFs
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • 24/7 emergency line
  • List of advisors

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw

The ‘Crisis Management Toolkit’ by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw provides company executives and in-house counsel with critical information for use in reacting to potential crises. The app includes succinct checklists broken down by crisis type, a toll-free hotline to the crisis management legal team and the ability to build your own Crisis Management Team contact list.


Key features:

  • Advice for multiple crises
  • 24/7 hotline
  • Incident guidance
  • Build your own list of emergency contacts
  • List of lawyers

What features should you add to a crisis response app?

There are a long list of features that you can add to crisis response app based on your needs and type of app. With Fliplet you can create crisis response apps with functionality such as…

  • Ability to select country to view relevant content
  • Configurable interactive checklists
  • Lawyer directory with search, filters
  • One-tap phone calls/pre-formatted emails
  • Quiz format for training/preparation exercises
  • Ability to upload and send pictures from phone camera
  • Display content in any language
  • PDF reader
  • Video compatibility
  • Ability to publish instant updates
  • Quickly duplicate apps and personalise for different clients, types of crises or user profiles
  • App portal gives the user access to their specific apps without confusing them or cluttering your app store
  • Call forwarding set-up

What types of crisis response apps are there?

Crisis ScenarioRelated Practice Area/Sector
Dawn Raid – Most commonCompetition/Antitrust
Industry specific emergencies
e.g. Construction collapse, chemical incidents or oil & gas incidents
Sector-specific and Risk
Compliance breachRisk, Regulation and Governance
Health & Safety incidentsIndustry and sector specific
Logistics incidentsShipping/aviation/logistics/transport
Employment incidentsEmployment
Privacy breach incidentsPrivacy
Cybersecurity incidentsTMT
PR/reputational incidentsMedia

Take the next steps to creating the ideal crisis response app for your firm

We’ve outlined the case for creating a crisis response app, the types of app that you can create, the features you should include, and examples of what your competitors are already doing. Now, you can take the next steps to create just what your firm needs to:

  • Reassure clients that they’re never more than two taps away from a legal rapid response team
  • Provide quick-read guidance on how to prevent and prepare for an emergency legal event
  • Enable in-house counsel to inform and prepare the wider company about emergency scenarios

Crisis response apps not quite for you, but you’re still interested in mobilising your firm? Check out our entire suite of apps for the legal industry.

Additionally, check out our legal industry section to find out more on how law firms can benefit from mobile apps.