United Kingdom



07 August 2020
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When will the lawyers from the big law firms return to their offices?

Because of the economic devastation caused by COVID-19, many companies have been forced to close offices, lay off staff and cut salaries. Many other firms have also chosen to cut partners' salaries. These include many UK law firms.

Withers originally had 57 staff on leave and 21 have been brought back permanently. The company recently announced an outstanding set of financial results, saying its clients are "very active in volatile times".

Just under 15% of Shakespeare Martineau's staff have been laid off during the pandemic. 47 employees returned in July and some employees will remain on leave in August and September.

As for Watson Farley Williams, he has brought 29 employees back to the offices, granting leave to 49 staff members in April. Some of its employees have had their working hours reduced. 

Osborne Clarke announced the return of 83 employees who had been laid off in the past. 

The well-known firm Allen & Overy has not yet given permission for many of its staff to return to the London office, which is expected to be on 7 September, with some staff returning on alternate weeks. 

Freshfields has taken a different option by allowing people who could not work from home to go to work in the office. 

Ashurst staff have started to return to work in their office from 2 July. CMS also began returning to its offices in Manchester and Sheffield, on a limited and voluntary basis, from 13 July

With regard to Gowling WLG, many staff are still on leave and there is no fixed date for them to return to staff. The firm's UK offices will remain closed

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