United Kingdom

Two City law firms demand staff be fully-jabbed before returning to their London offices

Two City law firms are demanding staff be fully-jabbed before returning to their London offices.

In one case, even visitors will have to show proof they have had two coronavirus jabs before entering the law firm’s workplace.

The moves by Debevoise & Plimpton and Morrison & Foerster – both American law firms with bases in London – could prompt other City firms to force staff to get vaccinated as workers flock back to offices.

Debevoise & Plimpton said that from October 11 anyone coming into its UK office will need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Two American law firms with London offices in the City - Debevoise & Plimpton and Morrison & Foerster - are demanding staff be fully-jabbed before returning to the workplace (stock image)

The firm, which has about 120 lawyers, said in an internal memo that it is also planning a ‘compulsory return’ date at some point in November. At the moment, going to the office to work is voluntary for its lawyers.

The memo, seen by The Mail on Sunday, was sent by the firm’s managing partners, Richard Ward and Labour peer Lord Goldsmith QC – the former Attorney General under Tony Blair.

It stated: ‘Starting on October 11, we will require everyone who wishes to come into the office, including visitors, to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated.

‘In the coming days, we will send around additional information about how you may submit proof of vaccination. (We continue to strongly encourage all those who are able to be vaccinated to make the necessary arrangements.) We will continue to evaluate this policy as we approach the date for compulsory return to the office.’

Debevoise & Plimpton’s decision, reported by trade website Legal Cheek, follows a similar move by rival law firm Morrison and Foerster. The firm, which calls itself MoFo for short, said its lawyers must be fully vaccinated before coming into the London office after it reopened last Monday.

The moves could prompt other City firms to force staff to get vaccinated as workers flock back to offices (stock image)

MoFo is rolling out a ‘phased return’ to the workplace. It said: ‘As the pandemic continues, we have made the decision to require anyone going into the London office to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19. Those not fully vaccinated will continue to work remotely.’

The firm said lawyers were ‘expected’ to work from the office on ‘one core day per week’. It said office attendance is expected to increase to two core days per week from tomorrow.

Many of the largest banks in the City have been encouraging staff to get jabbed, but have so far stopped short of requiring them to have the vaccine.

Banks have been asking staff to get vaccinated via emails, town hall talks and on internal company websites.

As revealed by The Mail on Sunday a week ago, US investment banking giant Goldman Sachs urged its 6,000 UK staff to return to their desks last Monday, leading a City charge back to the workplace.

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