BCLP sets global office return plan, with weekly 'team-up' days

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REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

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  • Firms chart different paths on in-person return.
  • BCLP lawyers and staff set to go back Sept. 6.

(Reuters) - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner on Tuesday laid out its plan for returning to the office, as law firms weigh differing approaches and degrees of flexibility.

The firm is encouraging lawyers and staff to spend the "majority" of their working time in the office after Sept. 6, according to a memo that BCLP shared firmwide across its 30 offices globally.

Other firms, including Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Dechert are also targeting September return dates, but what that looks like varies from firm to firm. Some are planning for a hybrid model, allowing lawyers and staff to spend part of the week working remotely, while others are expecting a full-time return.

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At BCLP, each office will designate one day per week as a "Team-Up Day," where everyone is encouraged to work from the office "to promote teamwork and collaboration."

The 1,400 lawyer firm, the product of a transatlantic merger between St. Louis, Mo.-based Bryan Cave and London-based Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2018, outlined five "working principles" involving collaboration, client service, wellbeing, development and autonomy.

"In line with these Working Principles, from September 6, 2021, we encourage our colleagues to work from the office for the majority of your time," the firm said. "Our Working Principles are subject to the needs of our clients and our teams, and therefore some will attend the office more frequently owing to the particular responsibilities of their role and for professional development purposes."

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More law firms set office return dates as Big Law weighs flexible future

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com