Covid-19 – What is Linklaters doing?
The health and safety of our people, their families and our clients will always be our top priority and is an essential part of our Linklaters Culture.
Outlined below is an overview of the measures we are taking to keep our people safe and maintain client service.
If you have more specific enquiries relating to your matters or how to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on your business, please speak to your Linklaters partner.
Continuing client service from outside the office
Our teams across Asia have been adopting working from home arrangements for more than seven weeks, continuing to serve our clients effectively, as have our teams in Europe more recently. From last week more of our European offices and those in the US have moved to a remote working arrangement.
As a precautionary measure, we have now moved to a full remote working arrangement for our London office until further notice. A small team will continue to operate in London to maintain essential client services.
Our ability to work remotely is well tested. All our professionals are issued with secure laptops or tablets which they use every day and can connect to the Linklaters network remotely. Our lawyers work remotely on a regular basis and are all familiar with the practicalities of working from home. We are confident that our technology and best practice ensure a consistently high level of client service.
Across our global network we have held a series of trials where each of our teams have worked from home. We are confident that our IT systems are able to manage the increased number of remote connections. These tests and our experience in Asia have ensured that we have the equipment and support we need now that that we have moved to working from home on a more long-term basis.
Our lawyers have also been given advice on what to discuss with clients particularly in relation to transactions which have time critical deadlines approaching in the coming period. We are keen to ensure that business can continue as much as possible during this period of remote working with minimal impact on client service.
In line with Government advice we have said that our people should stop all but the most essential international travel until further notice. This is to keep our people safe and ensure that we reduce the chances of individuals needing to be held in isolation away from home, or self-isolate on their return.
We have asked our people to try to attend meetings remotely via telephone or video conference where possible and we expect that many of our clients will be taking a similar approach.
We are also following government advice, advising our people that they should not travel to certain areas at all due to high levels of localised outbreaks.
With respect to personal travel we are not restricting individuals from making trips they have already planned. We are however ensuring they are aware of local government guidance and are asking them to consider this before making any trips – with a particular focus on the rules in their destination countries and the risk that they may be unable to return home as planned or need to self-isolate on arrival.
Large meetings and conferences
Following the effective closure of most of our offices, including London, we will look to arrange webinars and other ways of still being able to meet or hold events without needing the sessions to be held in person.
We are also looking at our own internal meetings – our recent Partnership Board meeting was scheduled to be held in Warsaw but instead went ahead via video conference. Our partner meeting which was due to take place in Berlin at the end of April will now also take place virtually, with the face-to-face meeting postponed until November.