Earlier this week, Quinn Emanuel shuttered its New York office after one of the firm’s partners tested positive for coronavirus, enacting a work-from-home policy for all of its attorneys and staff members. Employees at other firms were shocked, and perhaps even envious, that such a successful firm had done such a thing, pondering if their own firms would ever close their doors to protect their health.
Now we know that at least one more firm is willing to close its doors to spare its employees from suffering through a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Which Biglaw firm could it be?
Faegre Drinker, the 1,300-lawyer strong merger product of Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath, decided to temporarily close all of its offices — every single one of them across the globe, 22 in total — due to coronavirus fears. That’s an incredibly bold move. The American Lawyer has more information:
None of the firm’s lawyers and staffers have tested positive for the coronavirus, but a person who attended a recent event at Faegre Drinker’s Washington office did, the firm said in a statement. As a result, the firm’s executive leadership decided Monday to close the firm’s offices.
“Because the health and safety of our personnel and clients is our top priority, Faegre Drinker is temporarily closing its D.C. offices. As a measure of caution, our leadership team has also taken the step of closing our global offices on March 10 while we evaluate this situation,” the firm said in its statement.
The firm noted in its statement announcing the office closures en masse that its employees “are equipped with the required technology to work remotely and remain ready and available to assist clients.”
How long can a Biglaw firm survive with all of its employees working from home? We may soon find out, because Faegre Drinker has not said when it plans to reopen its offices across the globe. Stay tuned for further developments.
What is your firm doing to protect lawyers and staff from coronavirus? Please text us (646-820-8477) or email us (subject line: “Coronavirus Response”). Stay safe.
Faegre Drinker Closes All 22 Offices After Potential Coronavirus Exposure [American Lawyer]
Philadelphia law firm, Faegre Drinker, temporarily closes 22 offices as precaution [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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