Categories:Middle East

DLA Gulf partner in A&O comeback

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  • Are we sure that McNair and Monk are really seconded to Oz? I reckon they lost their jobs because let's face it, McNair only had one client (Nakheel) which are not instructing anyone and Monk didn't have any big name loyal clients.

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  • DLA Piper Middle East have proven to have had a flawed Middle East strategy. They have made some horrible hiring decisions and now are paying the price!

    By the way, wati and see...more partners to go. If you look at their regional offices some are still seriously underperforming.

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  • Shehzaad left DLA Piper as Regional Head Finance to become a senior associate at AllenOvery.
    That should say about the state of affairs at DLA.

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  • The great thing about the recession is that the people that only came to Dubai during the end of the boom years or at the beginning of the recession (because they lost their jobs in their home countries) will be got rid of and sent packing. The likes of Monk and McNair never had any real interest in the Gulf and only came to Dubai to get on the band wagon. They were paid far too much for doing next to nothing. They are now back in Oz and will never will return to the Gulf - thank God!

    The people left in Dubai after the recession will be paid realistic salaries and have real long term careers. Such people will help Dubai grow and prosper unlike the DLA Aussie mafia.

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  • says it all really about tDLA - better off as a SA than DLA's regional head of finance - BTW - have they actually got a finance department?

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  • With regard to the second comment, I don't agree that the ME offices are underperforming - Given the poor quality of lawyers they've recruited (and who remain) you can't really expect anything else. I understand that utilisation is hovering around the 10% mark (whilst recovery is an other question).

    Sir Nige - why don't you just close the doors and cut your (considerable) losses!?

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  • Correct me if I'm wrong but Damian McNair is a construction lawyer (whose professional gems include the drafting of Nakheel's standard form contracts).

    God knows how he can possibly lead a finance department when he can't even get his specialism right- but wait - DLA haven't actually got a finance department!!

    What a disaster!! Close up shop!!

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  • The term Aussie Mafia just shows how inept, ill-informed and ignorant some people are. The Aussies were specifically sought out and encouraged to come to the region especially during the boom as most of the people there at the time could not deliver and did not have the necessary skills. Many worked 16 hour days 7 days a week both at DLAs and at Nakheel and many national projects such Palm Jumeirah simply would not have been delivered without them. With attitudes such as these the region will only ever attract D grade talent.

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  • 'With attitudes such as these the region will only ever attract D grade talent.'

    That pretty much reads like an admission that all it's ever attracted to date is D (LA) grade talent....

    Also the term Aussie Mafia is the one used internally within DLA Piper to describe them and refers not only to their place of orgin but to the manner in which they conduct themselves within the office.

    So I'm not sure why you think using that term makes the poster above inept, ill informed or ignorant.

    As for the 'many national projects such as Palm Jumeriah simply would not have been delivered without them' well that deserves all the attention that kind of excessive hyperbole should get.

    Palm Jumeriah was essentially 'completed' i.e handover of first residential units in 2006 i.e before DLA Piper even opened an office in Dubai and long before McNair and Co turned up.

    They were less important to the delivery of those projects as one of the guys in a blue boilersuit delivered to the construction site in a unairconditioned bus everyday. They just got paid a lot more and had nicer transportation.

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  • Who did those project contracts then?

    Btw, judging by some of the grammar, spelling and punctuation in these comments, I can’t tell if some of you people are lawyers or 9-year-olds.

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  • Hmm… is Anonymous @ 8:35 is one of the few barely surviving members of said Aussie Mafia? Secondment to Phillips Fox is professional purgatory for Aussie mafiosi who have sinned. ‘Secondment’ to Oz was the cheap , face saving way to clear the Dubai office.

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  • Anonymous | 3-Mar-2010 8:35 am - Surely McNair and Co are the very epitome of "D grade talent"?

    Anonymous 3-Mar-2010 12:59 pm - As far as I know none of DLA's project contracts have ever been signed (or paid for) in the region as so they certainly weren't prepared by DLA.

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  • mcnair and monk are not the only ones being 'seconded'. others in dubai, abu dhabi and riyadh are also about to start long term 'secondments' back to their aussie homeland. watch this space.

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  • The insinuations of virtual criminality on the part of the Australians who helped build DLA Piper’s Dubai office are the only hyperbole I see in these comments. Aussie Mafia…Aussie Mafioso who have sinned? What did these guys do that was so evil? They had a couple amazing years thanks in large part to Nakheel and then got over-zealous in their hiring because of the faulty assumption that Nakheel would keep them well fed. Then came the shockwave at the end of 2008 which DLA fell victim to just like almost every other entity on this rock.
    So who’s piling on the hyperbole now? I can’t help but think that some of the vitriol we’re seeing in these comments comes from somewhere personal as opposed to objective analysis.

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  • I'm bewildered by Abdul Aziz Al-Yaqout's reference to DLA's middle east clients as I'm sure they haven't got any as evidenced by the firm's shockingly low average utilisation rate.

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  • I wonder what the future holds for DLA ME? They're operating in a competitive market with an inferior product and a battered reputation - who in their right mind would instruct them?

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  • AUSSIES, PLEASE NOTE THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT MADE AGAINST THE NATION OF OZ, THEY ARE MADE AGAINST A BUNCH OF NASTY PEOPLE WHO LOOKED AFTER THEMSELVES AND THEIR FRIENDS WHO HAPPENED TO COME FROM OZ. I THINK OZ IS A GREAT COUNTRY.

    I used to work at DLA and have to say that these so called "Aussie Magic Circle" lawyers at DLA are the same as mid market lawyers in London (ie below Silver Circle). They are nothing like lawyers from the Global Quartet (i.e. the real Magic Circle who are the best in every jurisdiction that they practice in: Freshfields, Clifford Chance, A&O and Linklaters) who I have also worked with.

    All the Mallesons crew know is the tiny legal market in Australia (20 million pop) and have no international experience (they may have sent a few emails to a law firm in Hong Kong). They may be good in Oz but not worldwide.


    They did not know how to approach Gulf problems because they were so used to the Malesons way of doing things in Oz. Dubai and Riyadh are not the same as Melbourne and Sydney!!

    There were many lawyers from elsewhere in the world that could have been recruited to DLA but only Aussies from Malesons and Minties were recruited because they are all friends with each other. In my opinion it should be the best person for the job regardless of race and nationality.

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  • Ignoring the obvious face-saving reorganisation which has/is taking place at DLA by their "seconding" the Aussie partners back to their homeland (and not before time IMHO), what is also apparent is that the exodus has started of those other unfortunate souls caught up in the mess.

    As a former client of DLA, I have seen a gradual depletion in the 'quality' on offer at DLA as their lawyers who have a choice have voted with their feet. From what I can see, there is now a disproportionate concentration of very average lawyers, and even more average partners.

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  • What does this say about Yaqout and DLA management that they are announcing that their ME finance practice is being run out of Australia by the exiled?

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  • The only thing it says about Yaqout is that he's doing what he can with the FUBAR situation he inherited.

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