DLA Piper faces regional revolt over LawVest investments

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  • hubris gets them all in the end

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  • Good faith as defined by the board. The names of the 'others' are likely known, but TA & the board may prefer not to disclose them.

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  • Investments in good faith that they would a tidy profit, not in good faith to their non-investing fellow DLA partners. Get DLA to divert some of its business to LawVest then share the profit from doing so between a limited number of partners. No conflict of interest there at all oh no no..... what planet is he on?

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  • All animals are equal.....but some are more equal than others!!

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  • What a cheap, tawdry affair.
    And it’s not as if DLA has any reserves of prestige to see them through. They are already in bargain basement.

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  • This may turn out to be a savvy investment by DLA yet, time will tell. In a firm this size there are bound to be disgruntled partners. DLA has also been a forward looking firm, it's obviously a little too much for some!

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  • Who knew The Lawyer was on DLA's board or a member of its partnership?

    It seems the situation could have been handled better but the decision to divest shows a willing to rectify unintended hard feelings.

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  • LawVest - an awful awful name.

    I'm fully expecting Roll On Friday to run this story with Sir Nigel pictured in his law vest.

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  • There have always been rumoured to be other "investments" too. Wonder if those are finally coming to light?

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  • If, as seems to be the case, DLA intends to divert work to LawVest, work which regional or other partners would otherwise have undertaken, surely this investment by DLA should have been discussed and voted on by the entire partnership, with all the partners having been given full disclosure of what LawVest's purpose was? There is of course no question that there was a conflict of interest when the individual partners invested in LawVest or that they should divest themselves of this investment ....and not to their wives or other family members.

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  • Anon at 5.33pm - this is nothing to do with the firm's investment - it is a question of conduct for those indvidual partners who have invested personally for their own personal gain and by doing so have called in to question their basic duties of good faith to their firm and their fellow partners. It raises many issues for them and the firm on conflicts of interest, breach of duty of good faith, unfair preference to name a few. They should have never made the personal investments and their luck of judgement in so doing calls into question their position as Partners in the firm - they should each individually answer to their fellow Partners and take blame for their errors - that the Board of DLA Piper have shown no back bone in dealing with this and are now attempting to dampen the issue down is shameful and I suspect will lead to a further escalation of the issues. One of Tony Angel's role is to deal with exactly this sort of issue - he has failed to do so in a convincing manner and his (and the Board's) failure in doing that doing will have lost him and the Board a great deal of support. Shame on all those involved.

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  • knowles and, where relevant other partners should be made to account to the partnerhip for the personal benefits they get from acitivities or roles they carry out as partners. For instance Knowles features (or will feature following a feb 15 interview} in the British Airways "Business Life" magazine. How many free airmiles or upgrades will or has he recieved as a result. It is just a part of his job to do such things and the rewards he receives for doing this job should be shared or at least accounted for.

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  • They must have been aware at some level that there was a conflict of interest. I suspect the reason Nigel Knowles and the other (no doubt senior and nearing retirement) partners didn't disclose the investments was an attitude of "We're in charge, we can do what we like, why should we have to clear it with the underlings?"

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  • Looking at this as an outsider and an in house counsel, this whole affair is a fiasco and, try as one might, it is not possible to not to come to the conclusion that Knowles and his mates were at best stupid (and negligent in their knowledge of the law and their obligations under their partnership deed). The alternative to their being stupid is that they were dishonest, and you really have to believe/hope that is not the case . Whatever, it is a red alert. Clients may want to think carefully before using these people for legal advice on anything that is even mildly complicated - their best damage limitation in the face of clients on this, is to name the individual partners, who along with Knowles, made this investment and caused the fiasco - that way we will know who to avoid rather than avoiding the whole firm.

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  • I don't like the sound of the good faith argument. What about the fiduciary duties owed to the LLP and its members?

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  • They should call an emergency partners meeting and have each of the investing partners account for their actions to their fellow partners and to discuss the whole LawVest investment by DLA

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  • Oh rats, I got caught - now that I got caught, of course I will divest.
    Gee, if I were an underling I'd be tossed out.
    Wait, wait, I am a master of the universe, I won't get tossed out.
    Whew, got away with that one.
    Now who is the b*****d that blew this little scheme of ours open. I'll get them yet.
    Wonder whether TA will give me a hand? Those tattlers will feel my wrath, and I will ruin them, and I will say that they were unfit, and.... and....

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  • The Lawyer must be delighted that the people that usually bring their wisdom to the Daily Mail's website are now flocking to theirs!

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  • This reads like a gossip column i.e. most of this is probably not true!

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  • Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorence on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon... you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices, and I tell you, people do that all the time.

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