Thomson Reuters Features Shook Chair on Pandemic Leadership

Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough was featured in Thomson Reuters’ The Daily Docket in a Q&A focusing on Shook’s growth; her re-election as chair to another second, five-year term; and managing a large law firm in the midst of a pandemic. 

In the feature, “Shook Hardy Chair Eyes Growth, Office Return Following Pandemic Disruptions,” the firm was noted for growing its profits and revenue despite courtroom COVID-19 shutdowns. McDonough was also recognized as “one of the few women to lead a major U.S. law firm.”

The Q&A included the following answers from McDonough. 

On the firm’s coronavirus-era litigation workload: 
“With the various courthouses closing throughout much of 2020, our trial load really decreased. But we had a real surge in arbitrations and other kinds of alternative dispute resolution. Starting about a month ago, trials have been really scheduling kind of quickly. There was a lot of pent up demand for trials. So we’re actually in a pretty heavy growth mode.”

On whether to mandate vaccinations for employees in the office: 
“I’m very unlikely to mandate vaccinations. We did a large survey of everyone in our firm, and the vast majority have already been vaccinated. I don’t think we would likely be mandating it or inquiring into people’s private medical decisions.”

On the effects of remote work on Shook’s real estate needs: 
“We were seeing that people needed less space than you did traditionally, so we had already been downsizing in various locations. But definitely with the pandemic in mind, and the number of people who do anticipate working more remotely more frequently, we are trying to continue to decrease our footprint.”