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Hogan Lovells to Allow Flexible, Hybrid Return-to-Office Plans

July 6, 2021, 10:00 AM

Hogan Lovells is offering flexible return-to-work options as it lets regional leaders determine the policies for its attorneys and business professionals.

The regional approach for the firm’s roughly 50 offices includes the possibility that people can work from home several days each week, said Hogan Lovells CEO Miguel Zaldivar.

The approach mustn’t incur tax liabilities or violate health and workplace regulations, and Hogan can’t be a totally virtual firm, Zaldivar said. “As long as they adhere to these principles, I don’t really care how many days a week they work out of an office,” he said.

Hogan joins several other Big Law firms that are offering variations of hybrid return-to-work plans, including Dechert, Nixon Peabody, Loeb & Loeb, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Dechert leaders, for example, have said they hope their lawyers will start working at least half their time from the firm’s offices when they begin returning in mid-September.

Zaldivar, who marked his one-year anniversary as CEO on July 1, said the firm approved the flexible plan after seeing that work-from-home arrangements during the pandemic hadn’t hurt the bottom line.

Hogan had a profitable first half of 2021, he said, and the period ending March 31 marked the strongest-ever first quarter for the firm.

The firm recorded just over $2.3 billion in gross revenues in 2020, making it the ninth largest firm using that gauge, according to AmLaw’s 2021 rankings. Average profits jumped for equity partners that year by 31% to nearly $2 million each, the firm told Bloomberg Law in February.

Soon after the pandemic hit, Hogan began renegotiating its office leases in about a half-dozen of its locations, including Miami, Boston, Baltimore, and Mexico City, Zaldivar said. Money saved will go toward new investments in IT and legal technology, he said.

Each firm office stayed open during the course of the pandemic. Zaldivar said he made a point of working out of an office each workday—even though there were days when he would be just one of a handful of attorneys walking the halls.

That’s because even in allowing flexibility, Zaldivar said, Hogan follows the principle that working together—in person and regularly, if not every day—has real benefits for the firm and its clients.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at sskolnik@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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