International firm Squire Patton Boggs is to abolish core working hours and trial a flexible working scheme in which solicitors can work from home for up to half of the week.

The firm, which moved into new City development Premier Place this week, said it is implementing a phased return in order to manage capacity, social distancing and contact tracing requirements.

As part of its plan to get staff back to work, the firm will run a 6-month trial across its UK offices allowing people to spend between 20% - 50% of their time working remotely. The firm will also abolish core hours to make start and finish times more flexible.

Jonathan Jones, EMEA managing partner said: ‘We will be monitoring circumstances closely and listening to our people over the coming months in order to be as flexible and accommodating as possible to everyone’s varying circumstances. Over time, we look forward to welcoming colleagues, clients and business contacts back to the office.’

The news follows an announcement from Linklaters that staff can work remotely between 20-50% of the time, under a new flexible working policy that applies indefinitely.

Squire Patton Boggs has also revealed it is closing its office in Doha, Qatar, after deciding to invest in growth elsewhere on the Arabian peninsula. The team is set to move to US rival Crowell & Moring.

Chairman and global chief executive Mark Ruehlmann said: ‘As we assessed our long-term position in the region, it became increasingly clear that our presence in Doha was not core to our strategy. Our commitment to our clients in the region is stronger than ever, and we continue to serve them from our offices in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, where we have added more than a dozen timekeepers over the past 18 months.’