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Wake Up Call: Sanford Heisler Puts Off Plans for Hybrid Work

Dec. 14, 2021, 1:35 PM

In today’s column, law firms are finding hybrid work schemes harder to implement than full-scale remote arrangements; David Boies was reelected chairman of Boies Schiller Flexner; George Washington Law School’s online resources crashed as students were taking an at-home test.

  • Leading off, Sanford Heisler Sharp said its delaying a hybrid work arrangement it had planned to start using Jan. 10. The litigation boutique’s announcement comes as omicron is the latest Covid variant to force companies to reconsider return-to-office plans. (Forbes)
  • Sanford was among the first U.S. law firms to announce a requirement for employees to be vaccinated to enter its offices. In September, when the delta variant was causing concerns, it was among firms delaying planned early fall returns to January 2022. (BLAW)
  • In an email seen by Bloomberg Law, the firm on Friday told its roughly 100 lawyers and support personnel that starting Jan. 19 it wants them to come into the office, but only on Wednesdays. “We hope to return to the office on our previously announced staggered/hybrid basis, but we do not have a starting date for that as of now,” said firm chair David Sanford. He added, “We continue to follow the science and continue to prioritize everyone’s health and well-being.” (Sanford Heisler)
  • Latham & Watkins canceled all holiday parties for the year after a recent gathering at the firm’s New York office apparently sparked an outbreak of Covid cases. Several elite U.K. firms last week told lawyers to stay at home because of omicron concerns. (BLAW)
  • Many law firms are finding that implementing hybrid work schemes is more challenging than shifting to full remote work arrangements early in the pandemic, a report says. (The American Lawyer)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Boies Schiller Flexner reelected its 80-year-old founder David Boies as chair. (American Lawyer)
  • President Joe Biden named two women—Amazon.com vice president and associate general counsel Katie Thomson and Center for American Progress executive Winnie Stachelberg—to help lead implementation of his new $1 trillion infrastructure plan. (CBS News)
  • New York real estate attorney Mitch Kossoff pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding clients out of millions of dollars. (The Real Deal) Maine’s overbilling lawsuit against a public defender says she and her firm earned $6.8 million since 2016 for representing indigent defendants. (ABA Journal)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett named longtime trial partner Lynn Neuner as the first female co-chair of its litigation department, which has about 250 lawyers; Clark Hill hired former Nevada assistant U.S. attorney and white collar unit chief Crane Pomerantz as a litigation member in Las Vegas. He was recently at Sklar Williams; Stroock hired financial services attorney Allen Denson, a former senior enforcement attorney in the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, as a partner in Washington. He arrives from Venable, where he was a partner. (Stroock)
  • Lowenstein Sandler said investment management lawyer Ted Randolph returned as a partner. He was counsel at the firm from 2014 to 2017 and was recently counsel at Shearman & Sterling; Locke Lord recruited veteran in-house leader Kimberly Hulsey, recently managing director at legal recruiter Major, Lindsey & Africa, to be its new chief diversity and inclusion officer; education technology company Turnitin brought in media company in-house leader Hazel-Ann Mayers as its new general counsel and corporate secretary. Mayers has been CBS executive vice president and chief business ethics and compliance officer and EVP and general counsel at Simon and Schuster. (Turnitin.com)
  • Tarte Cosmetics said it hired corporate transactions veteran Veronica luliano as general counsel. She was previously in-house at private equity firm Stone Point Capital and investment bank SG Cowen, and was an associate at Dewey Ballantine; biopharmaceutical company Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. hired veteran in-house leader Mark Snyder, recently Qualcomm Inc. senior vice president and deputy GC for litigation, to take over as Halozyme’s senior vice president, general counsel, chief compliance officer, and corporate secretary, effective Jan. 3, 2022. (PRNewswire)

Legal Education

  • George Washington Law’s portal crashed during a recent weekend, leaving students without access to key class materials as they worked on take-home exams due the next Monday. (Above The Law)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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