Coronavirus outbreak: lawyers in Vienna and New York hospitalised

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By Thomas Connelly on

Firm staff also test positive

Lawyers in Austria and New York have been hospitalised with coronavirus, according to reports.

A partner in the Vienna office of law firm Wolf Theiss has contracted the virus, officially known as COVID-19, and is now under quarantine at a hospital in the Austrian capital, local news website Vindobona reports. The lawyer, 72, hasn’t been named.

In a statement, Wolf Theiss confirmed it “immediately initiated all necessary steps to protect employees, clients, courts and business partners on the basis of an action plan.” On Friday, about 200 employees were tested, and another 80 were tested on Monday, it said.

Of those tested so far, three employees flagged positive for the virus without displaying symptoms of the disease. They have been placed under home quarantine as they await official confirmatory tests, the statement adds.

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Separately, a lawyer in New York is also said to be in a “severe condition” in hospital after contracting the highly infectious disease, which so far has claimed the lives of over 3,000 globally.

The New York Post reports that the 50-year-old lawyer runs a small boutique law firm with his wife that also employs one of their four children as a paralegal.

Last Thursday Baker McKenzie closed its London office amid concerns a member of staff, who recently returned from northern Italy, had contracted the virus. Reopening on Monday, Bakers confirmed the employee had thankfully received the all clear.

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