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Hogan calls off move after NY terrorist attack; law firms donate to victims' funds
Washington DC firm Hogan & Hartson has given up office space to help Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, whose office was destroyed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Sidley Austin still has one staff member missing, presumed dead, out of the 600 staff it housed in the trade centre. The firm also had an office in Midtown New York. It was planning to close the Midtown office and move all of its lawyers into the Trade Center at the start of the new year. As a result of the attack, the firm has taken more space in its Midtown building instead. Hogan & Hartson was due to move into two floors of the Midtown building, but it contacted Sidley Austin and said that it could have the space. Sidley Austin has taken the contract for a year, after which the firm will consider its options. All of the firm's New York lawyers have been housed in the Midtown building.
"We may have lost one day, but we're in remarkably good shape" Tom Smith, Sidley Austin
Sidley Austin's vice chairman Tom Smith said: "Hogan & Hartson was due to be taking over those floors, but they very kindly called up and offered them to us. It was just a wonderful gesture on their part." The floors were fitted out with new equipment within days and were open for business on 17 September, less than a week after the event. All of the firm's computer files were backed up and were running as normal by the next day. Smith said: "The computer system backs up pretty much every night - we may have lost one day, but we're in remarkably good shape." Other firms in New York have been quick to make contributions to charities helping victims of the disaster. Willkie Farr & Gallagher has set up a $500,000 (£340,600) fund that will be used to make contributions to charities for the families of victims of the terrorist attacks. A statement from the firm said: "The firm will contribute to more than one charity for the families of the victims of the disasters. The firm has donated $100,000 (£68,125) to the New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund and has also sent a contribution of $25,000 (£17,000) to a charity for victims of the attack on the Pentagon." Jones Day Reavis & Pogue is giving $200,000 (£136,250) to three funds for families of the victims. Weil Gotshal & Manges executive partner Stephen Dannhauser is president of the New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund. He said: "We're asking all New Yorkers, indeed all Americans, to help the many families of these fallen heroes."