Coronavirus Hits Manhattan, And Prominent Biglaw Firms Prepare For The Worst

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Coronavirus has finally made its way to Manhattan. New York confirmed its first official infection on March 1 in a health care worker who had just returned from a trip to Iran. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said it is now “inevitable” that there will be “community spread” in New York City.

Thankfully, Biglaw firms are prepared.

In our previous reporting on the burgeoning threat of coronavirus, we noted that Latham — one of the world’s wealthiest law firms, with 2,720 lawyers in 29 cities across 14 countries — had canceled a client reception at the American Museum of Natural History in New York “[o]ut of an abundance of caution.” Now, the firm has decided to cancel its global partners’ meeting. The American Lawyer has the details:

“After careful consideration, and with the health and well-being of our colleagues and clients foremost in mind, we made the difficult decision to cancel our global partners meeting,” said Richard Trobman, the firm’s chair and managing partner, in a statement. “While we perceive the risks to be small, safety is our first priority, and we thought this decision was in the best interests of all concerned given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.” …

Latham’s global footprint includes China, where more than 78,000 people have been infected by the virus, as well as South Korea, Japan and Italy, which have respectively seen at least 600 reported coronavirus cases, according to The New York Times.

Latham isn’t the only firm that’s taking extra steps to protect its workforce in light of the coronavirus outbreak. It’s been reported that Linklaters has instituted a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all employees who have traveled to coronavirus hot spots for either work or entertainment.

What is your firm doing to protect its employees from potential exposure to coronavirus? Please email us or text us (646-820-8477). Stay safe, everyone.

Latham Cancels Global Partners’ Meeting in New York, Citing Virus Fears [American Lawyer]
Linklaters Sends Home Lawyers Returning from Virus Hot-Spots [ International]

Staci ZaretskyStaci 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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