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Take a Covid-19 test before coming into the office, Skadden tells unvaccinated London lawyers

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Internal memo urges staff to get jabbed

US titan Skadden has told unvaccinated lawyers and staff, including those in London, they will be required to take a Covid-19 test before entering the office, a firm memo has revealed.

In what is understood to be the first major law firm to put a testing requirement in writing, the memo says unvaccinated lawyers and professional staff, who have not had the virus within the previous 90 days, “will be required to have tested negative for Covid-19 within 48 hours of their arrival to the office or any in-person offsite location”.

While Skadden stops short of telling lawyers they must be vaccinated to enter its offices, it does “urge” everyone to do so in consultation with their doctor. The firm goes on to stress that “you should not ask your colleagues if they have been vaccinated”.

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The memo, first reported by AboveTheLaw, also covers a range of other return-to-the-office plans, including a hybrid working model, relaxed summer dress code (jeans are permitted!) and free snacks and coffee on a 24/7 basis courtesy of its onsite cafe.

A raft of law firms have now laid out their plans for office life post-pandemic, with many punting for new flexible ways of working. Major City players such as Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Linklaters have given the go-ahead for lawyers and staff to work away from the office for up to 50% of the time, while US outfit Ropes & Gray told its associates, including those in London, they are no longer expected to be in the office five days a week.

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