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Freshfields forced to send lawyers home early after huge power surge took IT system offline

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Exclusive: A workman put a pneumatic drill through a cable

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was forced to allow some of its London lawyers to go home early after a huge power surge took its IT system offline.

Legal Cheek understands that the magic circle giant’s network went down last Thursday at around 11:30am. Despite a back-up power source kicking in soon after, sources have revealed to us that the impromptu blackout left a number of staff members unable to log back into its internal IT system.

Those using desktop computers were advised to try turning it off and on again an alternative WiFi network, while staff using laptops were able to continue working. A number of lucky lawyers who were still struggling to get back up and running were told they could go home early. Freshfields’ system was fully operational again by 4pm. The firm declined to comment.

The surge — which was apparently caused by a hapless workman putting his pneumatic drill through a power cable near the firm’s Fleet Street base — affected offices across the London EC4 postcode. Other notable law firms in this area include US duo Jones Day and Gibson Dunn.

Earlier this year, Freshfields confirmed it’s ditching its current London HQ in favour of a brand new City skyscraper.

The firm, which has been based on Fleet Street since 1989, put pen to paper on a 20-year lease which will see it occupy 255,000 square feet of 100 Bishopsgate. But lawyers needn’t clear their desks just yet — the move isn’t scheduled to take place until the summer of 2021.

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