Staff at the London office of City firm Baker McKenzie have been asked to work from home today over concerns about a potential outbreak of coronavirus.
Some 1,100 employees have been asked not to come after a person working at Baker McKenzie recently returned from northern Italy and is now unwell.
In a statement, the firm said: 'Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our people and our clients and we have asked our London office employees to work from home for the time being while we are taking precautionary measures in response to a potential case of the COVID-19.
'We have a well-established agile working programme - including technology and IT systems for home working - which allows us to take these precautionary measures without impacting our client service delivery. We continue to closely monitor the situation and are following the advice and guidance issued by the government and Public Health England.'
It is the first reported case of a law firm in the UK acting in response to a potential case of the virus. Energy firm Chevron has sent 300 workers home, as reportedly have two other businesses with offices in Canary Wharf.
Meanwhile the lord chief justice told journalists this morning that the courts has a 'flu pandemic continuity plan' ready for activation. 'In the criminal courts we have to be very alive to what is going on in prisons,' he said.
Magic circle firm Linklaters is asking staff who have recently travelled to the most impacted regions, either on business or leisure, to work from home for 14 days.
Baker McKenzie’s London office re-opened on Monday 2 March after the employee tested negative for the COVID-19 virus.