Nixon Peabody, Loeb & Loeb Detail New Office Reopening Plans (2)

June 4, 2021, 5:30 PMUpdated: June 4, 2021, 9:17 PM

Nixon Peabody and Loeb & Loeb have announced new flexible office reopening plans as more law firms look to balance return to office requirements and giving attorneys flexibility to work from home.

Nixon Peabody is instituting new remote working policies ahead of its September office reopening that will allow attorneys and staff to determine the amount of time they spend in the office.

In an internal announcement sent by the firm on Thursday and viewed by Bloomberg Law, Nixon Peabody will allow its attorneys and staff to pick from a number of options. These include a hybrid combination of in-office and remote work, fully remote work within commuting distance of the office, fully remote work outside of commuting distance, as well as the option to work full-time from the office.

The firm is also offering its lawyers and staff the ability to shift to a flex time schedule, or a rearrangement of work hours, and a reduced schedule option.

“This remote work experience has taught us a lot about ourselves, our capabilities, and the needs of our clients,” said Nixon Peabody CEO and managing partner Stephen Zubiago in a statement to Bloomberg Law.

“We’ve learned that we can be productive from places outside of our Nixon Peabody offices, and we know flexibility will be key to our future success,” he added.

There are also no caps on who is eligible for the flex-work categories, according to Nixon Peabody senior media relations manager Nicholas Braude.

The new policies will take effect on Sept. 7. Nixon Peabody had previously announced that it was targeting July 6 as its firmwide return to office date.

As the firm prepares for back to office, it is also making adjustments to its pay system for associates that Zubiago said in a separate statement take into account the firm’s move toward more flexible work.

“We are moving away from our current tier system and going to a new lockstep compensation scale for all class years in all markets and an enhanced bonus structure, that provides greater incentives, recognition and rewards to those associates who make outstanding contributions to the firm,” he said.

Summer to Fall

Loeb & Loeb is planning on beginning its phased reintegration plan on July 6, according to an email sent by firm chair Ken Florin and viewed by Bloomberg Law.

The first part of its plan, which will last through Labor Day, encourages, but does not require, its attorneys and staff to come into the office to re-acclimate.

After Labor Day though the end of 2021, the firm expects people to come in more regularly, but intends to continue to offer flexibility wherever possible. The firm will not be requiring a minimum number of days in the office for its attorneys and paralegals, instead department chairs will determine those guidelines.

“While we expect many will strive toward an average of 2 or 3 days per week in the office, others may make different arrangements which involve them coming in more or fewer days,” Florin said in his email.

In 2022, the firm will evaluate the hybrid working model to determine its long-term plans.

Florin also noted that while Loeb & Loeb is encouraging its employees to get vaccinated, it is not mandating it.

Several Big Law firms have recently announced their plans to reopen offices, allowing for varying amounts of in-office work versus remote work.

Late last week Paul Hastings announced that it would reopen its office on Sept. 7 with its attorneys and staff working in-person as a default. Dechert announced it would return to the office in mid-September, with its lawyers working at least half their time in-person. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom also announced its new policy that will require lawyers to work in the office three days per week also starting in September.

(Updated paragraphs nine, 10, and 11 to reflect further statement from Zubiago. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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