DLA Piper reshuffles as Asia chief quits

DLA Piper is transferring its corporate chief to Hong Kong following a row over strategy and the resignations of two senior partners in the region.

DLA Piper reshuffles as Asia chief quits” />DLA Piper is transferring its corporate chief to Hong Kong following a disagreements row over strategy and the resignations of its two most senior partners in the region.

Maverick Beijing head Jingzhou Tao, who joined DLA Piper from Coudert Brothers in 2005, has left with immediate effect and Asia managing partner Nick Seddon will relinquish his role at the end of the year, before leaving the firm next spring.

It is understood that Tao and Seddon had radically different management styles, which has resulted in Tao’s departure. Tao declined to comment, but is understood to be in negotiations with a US firm.

Alastair de Costa, DLA Piper’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) corporate head, will relocate to Hong Kong to take charge of Asia.

De Costa will assume his new role in January, but will spend time in Asia between now and then. As a result, his Emea corporate group head position has been filled by Spain managing partner Juan Picon. De Costa was also head of financial services at the firm and this role has been filled by UK finance and projects head Michael Burton.

Joint CEO Nigel Knowles said: “Picon’s promotion is great because it means we have another Continental group head, which is further confirmation that we’re not a UK firm, but a global firm.”

Knowles added that Madrid-based Picon will retain the Spanish managing partner title, but added that the position could pass to another partner in due course. Burton will continue to run the finance and projects practice in the UK.