Faegre Drinker Closes All Offices After Virus Exposure In DC

By Andrew Strickler
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Law360 (March 10, 2020, 4:50 PM EDT) -- Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP has closed all 22 of its outposts globally after learning someone with the new coronavirus had been present in its Washington, D.C., office.

In a statement, the firm said its leadership team learned Monday evening that a person who attended a recent firm event on K Street had since tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and decided to temporarily close the location, where scores of lawyers and lobbyists work within a few minutes walk of the White House.

"As a measure of caution, our leadership team has also taken the step of closing our global offices while we evaluate this situation," the firm said.

No Faegre Drinker personnel have tested positive for the disease, the firm said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reporting 647 cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and 25 deaths. Globally, the fast-moving virus has been detected in more than 100 locations and has caused more than 4,000 deaths, as of Tuesday morning, according to the World Heath Organization.

Faegre Drinker's D.C. location, a stone's throw from the White House and innumerable other federal buildings, has more than 150 lawyers, lobbyists and other professionals, according to its website. A firm spokesperson did not reply to questions about the timing of the exposure and the reasoning for closures outside of D.C.

Faegre Drinker is the result of the recently completed merger of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. The firm includes more than 1,300 lawyers and consultants across the U.S. It also has two outposts in China, which has been hard hit by the deadly virus, as well as a London office.

--Editing by Michael Watanabe.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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