Law360 – “New York City kicked off the second phase of its reopening plan Monday, freeing many companies to bring employees back into the office, but some law firms say ongoing coronavirus concerns are holding them back. “We’re in no rush to reopen in New York,” said Richard Hans, the head of DLA Piper‘s Manhattan office. Citing a recent spike in coronavirus cases across the country, as well the risks of hopping on a crowded subway, Hans told Law360 that the office is sticking with its mandatory telework policy until at least July 10. “There are a number of individuals who are uncomfortable taking mass transit,” Hans said. “So even were we to address all of the safety concerns within the office, which we are doing, they are hesitant to commute back into or across the city on trains or buses.” DLA Piper’s Manhattan office is its largest in the country, with roughly 220 attorneys and 120 staffers. The firm has already begun to reopen a handful of U.S. offices — in Atlanta; Wilmington, Delaware; Houston; Dallas; and Raleigh, North Carolina — but Hans said it’s not yet ready to reopen in Manhattan, which became the national epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic after the disease reached the U.S. in January. The city still tops the charts, reporting nearly 210,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus since the first one was reported in March, and more than 22,000 coronavirus-related deaths. When DLA Piper leaders eventually roll back the Manhattan office’s mandatory telework policy, Hans said they’re going to ease into it. “Even when we do reopen, it will be purely on a voluntary basis,” he said, adding that this initial reopening strategy will probably run through the summer…”
See also Law360 – Coronavirus: How Law Firms Are Handling The Downturn, updated June 18, 2020.