Major law firms in Spain including Hogan Lovells are discussing how best to redeploy staff to their offices as the country prepares to loosen its COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks.
A person with knowledge of the Spanish legal market said that local firm Uría Menéndez is deciding how and when to return to the office, with discussions taking place within the next two weeks. Hogan Lovells is also holding similar discussions.
Meanwhile, Spanish heavyweight Cuatrecasas decided in a board meeting last week to maintain remote working for its global offices until at least May 31, according to a person close to the matter.
A Madrid-based partner at Hogan Lovells said the sentiment in Spain is that the majority of international firms will reopen in June, as the government is considering an extension to the lockdown. He added that one option could see staff splitting time in the office.
“It won’t be everybody at the same time, but maybe 50% of the teams in different turns per day”, he said.
The partner added that the sooner offices reopen, the sooner a sense of normality will return.
“A delay on [returning] is not good for anybody”, he continued. “Taking precautions with a phased – but quick – return is the best solution in my opinion.”
An employee at KPMG Legal in Spain added that the firm is “continually analysing the situation to determine when is the best time to return to normality”.
Additionally, in jurisdictions where offices are allowed to open as part of loosened lockdown measures, Dentons will implement safety protocols and allow a gradual return of staff, a spokesperson said.
Elsewhere, firms in Italy have begun reopening offices, with BonelliErede, Chiomenti and U.K. headquartered Bird & Bird taking limited measures.