Wall Street’s Davis Polk Moves to Four Days Per Week in Office

Davis Polk & Wardwell is ramping up in-person work requirements, forcing lawyers to hit the firm’s offices four days per week.

Lawyers and business services personnel at the Wall Street firm will be required to be in the office Monday through Thursday after Labor Day, Davis Polk managing partner Neil Barr said Wednesday in an internal email obtained by Bloomberg Law. The firm had previously required its attorneys to be in the office Tuesday through Thursday each week.

Davis Polk is also implementing a new annual remote bank, Barr said in the email. The firm will allow lawyers to choose 16 days annually to work remotely.

Davis Polk is just the latest law firm to opt for more in-office time for its lawyers after the pandemic. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom announced late last month that it was requiring its lawyers to show up in the office four days per week. Simpson Thacher & Barlett and Sidley Austin have threatened to withhold bonus money from associates who do not show up to the office three days a week.

Davis Polk has previously stated that in-office attendance will factor into lawyer bonuses.

“The key driver behind our in-office attendance philosophy is a desire to provide all members of our community with best-in-class professional development opportunities,” Barr said in his email.

“I believe that these opportunities derive, in the first instance, from our collective presence in the office and, for our Firm, simply cannot be cultivated as effectively in a remote environment,” he said.