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Several BigLaw Firms Close Their Tokyo Offices for Now; Others Embrace Telecommuting

Posted Mar 18, 2011 7:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Several large U.S. law firms have temporarily closed their offices in Tokyo, while others that didn’t formally shut down are helping their personnel who want to work elsewhere.

Executives at several large banks and law firms are renting space in cities such as Osaka or Fukuoka that are even farther away from the troubled nuclear reactors than Tokyo, the New York Times reports. It did not mention which law firms have taken this action.

At the Ritz-Carlton in Osaka, rooms were going for about $720 a night, and it was busier than usual, the Times says.

The Am Law Daily talked to several law firms to get specifics. It lists these law firms as temporarily closing: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; Herbert Smith; Jones Day; and Clifford Chance. Firms that are open, but allowing or helping staff work elsewhere, include: Morrison & Foerster; Linklaters; Baker & McKenzie; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; and K&L Gates.

Still at his desk in Tokyo on Thursday was Kenneth Siegel, the head of the Tokyo office of Morrison & Foerster. He has no plans to leave. “Japanese clients are still working," he told the Am Law Daily. "They're still there."

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