More US Law Firms Delaying Large-Scale Office Returns Amid Omicron Fears

Amid the emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, an increasing number of law firms in the United States are delaying large-scale office returns and introducing other Covid-19 measures to protect employees. One large US firm has told employees to work from home, while another is now explicitly requiring Covid-19 booster shots for staff.

On Monday, several large US firms confirmed that they were delaying their return-to-office dates, including Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Cooley, and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo.

According to an email seen by Reuters, Debevoise & Plimpton told its employees on Friday to work remotely until January 7. The firm had planned for its lawyers to begin a gradual return plan by January 10. However, in the email seen by Reuters, presiding partner Michael Blair said that the firm will wait until early next month to review whether or not the plan should still go ahead. 

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Like many businesses, recent months have seen law firms struggling with the question of when and how to bring staff back into offices, even on a part-time basis. Some firms had planned to make the return last summer, but the spread of the Delta variant saw such plans upended for many.