Will operate at 25% capacity with no movement between floors
Dentons has become one of the first major legal players to partially reopen its London office in response to the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The largest law firm in the world by lawyer headcount confirmed yesterday it had made its City office available for a “limited number of people” who would prefer to return to a more regular office-based environment for “mental health, isolation or other wellbeing reasons”.
Lawyers and staff seeking to break free from the work-from-home-life to curb the spread of the coronavirus will require prior approval from the firm, while anyone vulnerable to the virus or living with people who are vulnerable will not be allowed to return.
Dentons, which has over 170 offices across the globe, confirmed that only 25% of the building will be occupied and there will be no movement between floors. It will also operate an onsite ‘track and trace’ system and anyone who has been into the office who then develops symptoms, or is close to someone that has, must immediately notify the HR team who will be able to ascertain if anyone else was on the same floor at the same time and if so request them to self-isolate.
Lisa Sewell, UK and Middle East managing director at Dentons, said: “We recently conducted a survey where 70% of our people felt they could continue to service their clients, both internal and external, fully from home, while everyone else felt they could perform most of their work from home.”
“Given how successful a fully virtual operation has been it is clear that there is no immediate business need for anyone to work from the office as we have continued to support clients on their most important matters seamlessly while working remotely. However, now that the government has relaxed lockdown guidelines we want to accommodate those who would prefer to return to a more regular office-based working environment for mental health, isolation or wellbeing reasons.”
The firm’s other UK offices will begin to reopen in a similar way over the coming weeks.