The COVID-19 or Corona Virus continues to disrupt law firms globally with law firms continuing to take radical measures to control the spread of the virus.
In New York, Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan kept its offices closed following the positive testing of a partner, while Simmons & Simmons and Latham Watkins both suspended partner conferences.
In London, Reed Smith sent its staff home and Taylor Wessing closed its office after a staff member tested positive.
A spokesperson for Reed Smith said in a statement: ‘With the uncertainty and the rapidly evolving situation around the COVID-19 outbreak, Reed Smith has decided to take additional preventative steps to protect our people, our clients and the firm’s business continuity.’
Taylor Wessing also cancelled its international partner conference which was planned for later this month.
A number of other law firms have also announced measures to respond to the pandemic.
Hogan Lovells is testing large-scale remote working for its UK and US offices to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Half of its US employees worked from home this week.
The transatlantic firm has already got its staff in China, Italy and Spain to work from home as these countries imposed stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus.
But Growing legal demand
But the Corona Virus has seen a surge in demand from commercial clients seeking advice on how to handle the issues stemming from the pandemic.
The Financial Times reported that Lawyers said they were experiencing increases in calls and client queries of 25 per cent or more as a result of legal issues stemming from the outbreak.
“We’re in uncharted territory here,” said Aoife Keane, a disputes partner at Seddons. “As far as I can remember nothing has had the same ramification for business to business contracts and the supply chain.”
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