Categories:Middle East

DLA Gulf partner in A&O comeback

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  • As a non-legal professional, referred to this site by an associate in discussing their current placement at DLA, I am amazed at the child like arguments posted here.

    Yes, DLA had a high representation of Australians. Do other companies follow such practice? Is there a correlation to such practices and the ME? Yes.

    Did poor HRM practices result in a lower bottom line and were motivated by such. Yes. Normality for the ME.

    Did DLA become distracted by the fur coat and gloss tiling of Dubai? Yes.

    Did DLA seek youth and enthusiasm, for search of a better connotation, in trying to meet demand and fill placements during the boom? Yes.

    Are lawyers acting like ruthless sharks surrounding a decaying carcass. Yes. What motivated all of the above. Greed.

    Best advice. Get back to your day jobs and especially gloss over the training manuals on ethics and integrity. Especially if your working for DLA. Advancing an argument at anothers detriment isn't the best personal advocacy, or am I wrong as a non legal? If its personal go for a run or whatever need be. Frustration is understandable and widespread in the ME. Most of the comments are just the knife in the back. DLA's predicament most likely isn't the first and won't be the last.

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  • Continuing with the London thread if I may. What was London's response to the control issue? One gets the impression London was played big time. Systems & controls anyone?

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  • London was not played big time.

    There were plenty of lawyers in the Dubai office who had transferred across from the London office.

    London knew what was happening in Dubai all along.

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  • For the record, Peter Monk is currently in Dubai acting on behalf of a Dubai client. He splits his time between Australia and Dubai - exactly as Aziz stated in the quote in the press.

    I can't talk to how employees were treated in the downsizing process - I don't know any of them personally, though I do of course read the posts. What I can say is that there seems to be little doubt that things could have been handled better - and I am sure that DLA would probably be the first to accept that. But who can honestly say, hand on heart, that they predicted the carnage that took place in the Dubai market over the past 18 months? It's very easy to be wise after the event, 100s of us always are, but honestly? who, presented with a client apparently willing to pay millions of dollars a year and with growth plans coming out of their eye balls in a major bull market, would think, "you know what, I'm not going to accept that because to do so would mean hiring lots of lawyers quickly and there's an outside chance I may have to cut them all again if the work dries up"?

    I've never worked at DLA, maybe I'm lucky, maybe I actually missed out on a whole lot of fun before the tide turned, but I can say that lawyers have departed every firm in town over the past 12-18 months. DLA as the biggest, and the fastest growing firm in town was always going to get a kicking when the tide turned. Though it does seem like the kicking was especially big as a result of some management c*ck ups in the way the whole process was handled.

    Will DLA regain their status? who knows, only time will tell. However I can't for one minute imagine they're not trying to regain their status and I can't for one minute imagine they're revelling in the knowledge that many people out there think they're pariahs. Do people seriously believe that the people who took the decision to cut back on staff enjoyed making those decisions?

    My conclusion to all this? it depends whether you're looking at the micro or macro situation. Individually there are clearly some very aggrieved people who no doubt have been sold a promise, and then lost their jobs - and for them I have enormous sympathy. Although I would point out that it does take two sides to validate an employment contract, and if the good times had continued rolling I doubt the aggrieved ones would be quite so aggrieved. Unfortunately though it's also highly likely that there are some people on here who haven't been personally affected at all by what's happened at DLA, but for whatever reason just enjoy jumping on the bandwagon and being wise after the event. Their view is pretty much irrelevant.

    But at the macro level in a few years time will this prove to have been a blip in the inexorable rise of DLA Piper to become the region's leading law firm or will it prove to have been the beginning of the end of things? No-one can honestly know the answer to that, but I for one know it will be an interesting few years watching...

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  • London has known everything all along and has been very actively managing Dubai for at least a year. London dictates budget numbers to Dubai and Dubai executes by arbitrary redundancies etc. Nigel Knowles has been to Dubai at least twice this past year. Andrew Darwin comes across to Dubai regularly and effectively manages the ME operation. Please write a story about London's role.

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  • Ex DLA @ 10.09am

    If London knew what was happening in Dubai all along, then they are incompetent. Perhaps they were fed a line by Dubai management? If so, it seems they have now checked for themselves and found the line had no bait.

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  • Odd that Anonymous 16-Mar-2010 1:17 pm never worked at DLA but has certain information about the whereabouts of Peter Monk and rather lengthy opinions about the DLA debacle. Probably an ill conceived DLA strategy to mitigate the damage by claiming that their ineptitude and not their arrogance and general malevolence caused the carnage. DLA owes its predicament to all of these character flaws.

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  • It's odd that somebody outside of DLA would know about Monk? Why? Is Monk not allowed to talk to anybody outside of DLA? What kind of Big Brother organization are they running over there?

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  • All the decent lawyers have left DLA Dubai - whether made redundant on account of not being part of the "Aussie Mafia" boy's club or, having seen the "writing on the wall" regarding DLA's non-existent future in the region, moved onto far greener pastures.

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  • With all this speculation, why doesn't Peter Monk and Damian McNair write into The Lawyer to confirm once and for all where they are working and who they are working for? Surely they can not be happy with all these former employees, former clients and general public writing these harsh (but true) comments about them. Come on Peter and Damian?

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