DLA Piper relaxes grip on equity with 8 per cent partner increase

DLA Piper has expanded its traditionally tight equity during the past year, with the number of equity ­partners at the firm rising by almost 8 per cent.

Nigel Knowles

Nigel Knowles

The firm now has 192 equity partners across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a rise of 7.9 per on the previous year. There are 595 partners in total.

The increase is a clear ­signal that the firm is taking steps to open up its equity, which has for years been one of the most restrictive in the UK. In 2006 29 per cent of partners were given a profit share, a figure that has now risen to 32 per cent.

A firm spokesman said: “Our equity model is a reflection of our business. It works for us and evolves as our business does.”

DLA Piper’s equity is purely merit-based and divided into bands of £25,000. The spread at the end of the firm’s last ­financial year was £325,000-£1.5m, down from £350,000-£1.6m last year.

Chief executive Nigel Knowles has been the only partner at the top level for at least five years.