Categories:Middle East

DLA Gulf partner in A&O comeback

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  • I am pretty against bashing previous employers from behind a veil of internet anonymity, so I will own my comments, I am Andrew Di Pasquale, and was a Senior Legal Consultant in the Projects Group at DLA. I left DLA in early 2009.
    I arrived in Dubai in 2007, when the Projects group was around 10 fee earners, the Abu Dhabi office did not have its license yet, and the firm was starting an aggressive push for growth.
    There were 10 or so of us trying to service a very large client, trying to put together multiple deals. Under normal circumstances, one project financed deal of the size we were doing would have justified having the entire team engaged, however we were being asked to simultaneously put together tens of them, across different utility sectors, in timeframes that were less than half what you would ordinarily expect for deals of that type.
    So we worked hard, and we put in the hours, and we billed.
    But we did not have enough people, so they recruited, and they recruited against the work flow that they had, which meant a lot of recruitment.
    And then the bottom fell out, and a lot of people had nothing to do, the end.
    That is it. If the GFC had not smashed Dubai like it did, McNair et al would have been thought of as visionary for putting together such a team in such a short space of time, instead, it did smash Dubai, and people lost their jobs.
    So what? People lost their jobs everywhere. The biggest mistake DLA Middle East made was that instead of making a decisive downsizing decision when it became apparent it was too large for the new Dubai reality, it tried to put together programs such as reduced working hours and secondments to save jobs, which left too many people with too much time to post comments on discussion boards.
    Be a bit more classy people, why insult your former employer, it just makes your CV look worse.

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  • DLA ME are not hiring, they are still firing (only it isn't called that or admitted by the firm). Hopefully, once the clear out has finished you will then realise just how "fine" everything is.

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  • Andrew, you weren't ever a SENIOR legal consultant at DLA...
    And I respect the fact that people wish to protect their identities (myself included) for fear of having one's reputation further damaged by the DLA disaster.
    The fact remains, that the comments on here are true that a minority of very poor quality Australians ruined what had become a very good platform for DLA, and they didn't just stop at shipping in second rate lawyers.
    DLA is now a third rate provisional Aussie practice, which unfortunately is where it has now slid from what promised to become an excellent practice, much to the annoyance of the other firms here, hence why everyone is delighting in the DLA debacle.

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  • Given my comments keep being censored... At least do me the service of pointing out where the head of HR and the current COO (who was Damian McNair's former secretary) both hail from. Yep, you guessed it, Australia, and both of these appointed by the same Aussie partners who themselves are so spectacularly underperforming. But of course, the Aussie mafia is just a figment of about 200 people's imagination that used to work at DLA.

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  • Andrew, nice post right to the point. Unfortunately, the racist attacks on Australians (and Arabs) didn’t end here. Instead of the self-pitying whining from usual bloggers “I can't find a job, I'm depressed, I’m a loser, I hate DLA and I hate life right now”, I sincerely hope you all find a job if you are still looking so that you regain your self-worth.

    My Lord I pray for all bloggers to ask, seek, knock and open a door of opportunity for them to find another job. Amen

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  • It should be pointed out that Andrew is Australian and was recruited from Australia by Damian McNair. This is not intended as a personal comment. It hardly can be said that building an entire practice or office around a single client is visionary. The Australians who occupied all of the practice head and department head roles with few negligible exceptions operated in selfishly to the exclusion of everything and everyone. They marginalised non Australians as a rule and their tribalism led to departures of smart people with business and understanding of the region. It is not appropriate to publicise a greedy and flawed internal belief that a client would keep an entire office 'well fed' or to blame a client for the failings of a firm. I hope someone inside Nakheel has read these comments and the other articles about DLA.

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  • Interesting comments.

    I am a former client of DLA Dubai.

    All I can say is never again. I received a pricy but poor quality advice (which was largely inaccurate).

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  • Former DLA employee, I am not sure whether your comment is having a stab, or whether you really don't think I was ever a Senior Legal Consultant at DLA, but I assure you, I was.

    There were about 6 SLC's in the Projects group, and I was one of them. We all pretty much got made up in June 2008.

    But anyway, enough internet chit chat for me...

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  • Holey Dooley!

    Relax mates. Throw another one on the Barbie. A short captain cook in Dubai can tell ya everything is bloody spiffy at the moment. Those guys weren't sent to never never, they just needed a few offsider's down under for a bit. 2010 is gonna be a corker!

    Hooroo

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  • I have to laugh at 'Arab' playing the "race card". Perhaps I am missing the point, but I don't see any racist posts on here...

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