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February 7, 2018

Eagles Parade Prompts Mass Shutdown for Phila. Law Firms

As Philadelphia prepares for millions to swarm the city streets on Thursday to celebrate the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win, area law firms are no exception. Many firms in the city are closing their offices, or turning them into victory celebration headquarters.


Dilworth Paxson CEO Ajay Raju alerted the firm within hours of the Eagles’ win, before the city had announced when a parade would take place, that the Philadelphia office would be closed on parade day. The firm has also allowed attorneys and staff to wear Philadelphia Eagles apparel to the office since the team won the NFC Championship on Jan. 21.


“It should also go without saying that we have pre-emptively Crisco’d all vertical surfaces in the office,” Raju said in his email notice to the firm.


Sweeney & Sheehan will also be closed for the day Thursday so that lawyers and staff can attend the parade. But the firm is making its office space at 1515 Market St., right along the parade route, available for employees who want to watch the celebration from inside. The firm is also having a pizza party Wednesday and encouraged lawyers and staff to wear Eagles attire to the office.


Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky will be closed and hosting a party for employees along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. “Collectively, we are passionate hard-core Eagles fans,” founder Robert Mongeluzzi said.


Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller will also be closed, but president and CEO David Pudlin said some of his colleagues who attend the parade may go up to the firm’s office to warm up and view some of the festivities.


“We have a great view looking directly over Logan Circle and down the Parkway to the museum steps,” Pudlin said.


Likewise, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel is closing its offices for safety reasons and so fans can enjoy the parade, but business and finance department chairman David Nasatir will be in the office hosting any lawyers and their families who want to view the parade from inside. The firm is located at 1500 Market St., right along the parade route.


Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby is hosting a victory party at its Center City office, open to lawyers, staff, clients, family and friends.


Spector Gadon & Rosen has allowed Eagles gear all week since the Super Bowl win. The firm will not only be closed Thursday, but Feb. 8 has been declared a firm holiday every year going forward, according to firm administrator Judi Compagno.


Reed Smith is closing in Philadelphia, but making sure people are available for urgent client needs. Philadelphia employees can also work from Wilmington, Delaware, or Princeton, New Jersey, Philadelphia managing partner Leonard Bernstein said.


Pepper Hamilton is closing Thursday, as the Philadelphia office awaits its prize from the Boston office. Before the game, Boston partner-in-charge Todd Feinsmith and Boston partner Bill Belanger had promised to come serve chowder and lobster rolls to the Philadelphia office in the case of an Eagles win. (The Philadelphia office had promised to serve cheesesteaks in Boston if the Patriots had won.)


Before the game, Pepper Hamilton also had a spirit day when the Philadelphia and Boston offices could wear their teams’ apparel for a $5 donation. The firm raised several thousand dollars, according to a spokesman, to be donated to charities supported by members of the Eagles and Patriots.


Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg is closing its Philadelphia office and hosting pizza parties in its other locations.


Other firms closing in Philadelphia for the day include: Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, Fox Rothschild, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Ballard Spahr and Conrad O’Brien.


“We wanted to make sure those employees who have to travel in and out of the city stay safe—and of course this is an added benefit for those who want to celebrate the Eagles in this momentous win!” Conrad O’Brien director of administration Robyn Henry said in an email.


Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young is keeping offices open, but providing remote work options or an extra paid day off to employees who are unable to get to the city. Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld is giving employees flexibility to attend the parade, and is making the space in Philadelphia accessible for employees and their families throughout the festivities.


Tim Levin, the Philadelphia managing partner for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, said in an email that the office will be open to clients, “but we welcome our lawyers and staff who want to join the festivities to do so. E-A-G-L-E-S!”


Dechert‘s Philadelphia location is operating with a reduced staff, and its office is open to employees and registered visitors. Those working in the office are encouraged to wear Eagles attire.


The Philadelphia office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, which is several blocks from the parade route, will be open Thursday, but is allowing a two-hour lunch and flexible scheduling.


Duane Morris will officially open, but is operating as it would on a snow day. Post & Schell is also treating Thursday like a snow day. Blank Rome is requiring attorneys and exempt staff to work remotely if they cannot get to the office or use paid time off, while nonexempt staff do not have to report to the office and will not have to use paid time off.


Cozen O’Connor is allowing employees to miss a day without using vacation time, and awarding an extra vacation day to those who make it into the office. They can also take a three-hour lunch to see the parade if they are in town, a spokeswoman for the firm said.


First Judicial District officials announced earlier this week that nearly all court services will be shut down Thursday. Municipal city offices are closed as well, and public transit is closing certain stations and operating on special schedules.


Reprinted with permission from the February 7, 2018 issue of The Legal Intelligencer © 2018 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.  All rights reserved.


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