The gradual reopening of legal London has continued as two of its biggest firms admit staff into their offices.

Both Linklaters and Slaughter and May are opening their bases for workers who feel they cannot work from home.

But for both firms, it remains voluntary whether people come into the office or not, as government advice continues to be that those who can work from home should continue to do so.

A spokesperson for Linklaters confirmed it had opened its London office to a ‘small number’ of people for whom working from home was difficult or impossible.

Workers will have their temperature checked upon arrival at the Silk Street HQ and will be sent home if they record a temperature above 38C. Inside the building, staff will be kept two metres apart in adherence with social distancing guidance.

Slaughter and May said it will reopen its London office from next Wednesday on a ‘limited basis’.

The firm added: ‘During this phase, we expect the number of people in the office on any given day to be small. We continue to follow government guidance closely, including as regards appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures. We will review this early limited reopening regularly in the light of changing requirements.’

Most offices have been shut to all but a handful of personnel since lockdown began towards the end of March.

Those who have returned have faced a very different environment, with hot desking and face-to-face meetings reduced, lift numbers limited and staff asked to stagger the times they arrive and leave.


*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.