North America to implement business continuity plans effective immediately, employees will work from home remotely
Baker McKenzie is closing all United States offices and Toronto in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Firm’s top priority is the health and safety of its people and clients, and it is committed to doing everything within its power in all locations to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our people will work remotely until at least March 31, but are braced for longer. These closures are not a response to any reported virus exposure or infection.
The impacted offices include Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Washington, DC and Toronto. As a global Firm, we are equipped to work from home or from alternate locations across our network of 77 offices to serve our clients' needs. The Firm has already managed office closures seamlessly and remote working arrangements in Asia Pacific and EMEA, due to the impacts of COVID-19. While we are truly global, we are making these decisions based on what is best for our people locally at home, which these office closures reflect.
Because we have a longstanding flexible working program including advanced technology for remote working, the Firm’s operations will continue uninterrupted, while bringing the highest level of service to our clients during this difficult time.
“These are trying times for all of us, but I am certain we will rise to face this challenge,” said Colin Murray, North America Chief Executive Officer. “We will stay positive, calm and most importantly, we will take care of each other, our families and our clients – that’s the Baker way.”
In addition to providing seamless remote working for all of Baker McKenzie’s people, the Firm is taking the following additional steps:
- Our People: We are protecting our people by limiting travel to affected regions, fully implementing the advice of our security advisers and following the advice of relevant authorities. We are in constant contact with our people to provide updates on our business continuity plans and with details of resources available to help them and their families through this challenging time.
- Coronavirus Resource Center: Our clients are seeking to better understand their employer obligations, potential force majeure claims, contractual obligations, data privacy concerns and liabilities for supply chain disruptions, among other concerns. To better support our clients as they deal with these growing challenges, we have launched a Coronavirus Resource Center on our website. The platform includes numerous client alerts that have been issued by the Firm recently, along with recordings of a webinar series that was recently held in Asia Pacific.
- Supply Chain/Subcontractors: Our business continuity plans extend to our subcontractors. We have been liaising closely with our subcontractors to assess their own business continuity plans and can confirm that they are well-equipped to support our business operations.
- Emergency Contact Information: We have a robust infrastructure in place, which ensures that our clients and our people are always able to contact us. Nevertheless, we have also set up a centralized email address that is monitored by our people in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas that anyone can use to contact the Firm.