DLA Piper slams the door on Bulgaria

DLA Piper is to close its Bulgarian office in the new year, citing problems associated with the economic downturn.

DLA Piper is to close its Bulgarian office in the new year, citing problems associated with the economic downturn.

The Sofia office, which was launched in 2006, will shut up shop next month. The sole partner, Anna Rizova-Clegg, together with 11 associates will move over to Austrian firm Wolf Theiss.

In a statement DLA Piper said: “We would like to thank Anna and her colleagues for their contribution to the firm and their professional approach to the decision to close the office.”

The statement continued: “It has proved difficult to develop the business there in line with the firm’s aspirations, particularly as the market has been badly affected by the general economic downturn. We wish Anna and her colleagues every success in the future.”

At the half-year point DLA Piper International – the UK and Emea branch of the business – posted an income of £280m, an 8.5 per cent increase from the £258m it made during the comparable period last year.

However, chief financial officer Paul Edwards told The Lawyer that the largest economies of Germany, France and Italy were running slightly below budget and that it had been a “challenging” year for the CIS (10 November 2010).

DLA Piper has other CEE offices in Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest and Warsaw.

Despite making layoffs in Bucharest, Wolf Theiss has been in an expansive mode in the central and eastern European (CEE) region recently, opening a Kiev office in 2009. The firm now has a total of 12 offices in the region.