DLA Piper: undercut?

At the world’s largest firm by headcount, it only takes a couple of loose tongues for news to leak out.


<a class=DLA Piper: undercut?” />Once again, DLA Piper’s latest redundancy programme was preceded by a flurry of rumours.

At the world’s largest firm by headcount, it only takes a couple of loose tongues for news to leak out.

One of the more interesting rumours was that there was a crunch partner meeting two weeks ago at which equity partners made clear that they did not expect the firm’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) to drop despite the turmoil in the economy.

Of course, lawyers at other firms will be making similar demands, but this is particularly significant at DLA Piper, where less than a third of partners are given equity.

An efficiency drive at DLA Piper is worrying news for its scores of salaried partners, who must be hoping that the firm is not taking its cues from the likes of Clifford Chance and Linklaters.

As it turned out, the internal announcement laid out details of another redundancy programme rather than a massive partner cull. Phew. Although the 110 support staff and 30 lawyers on the chopping block will not consider themselves fortunate.

The email, leaked to The Lawyer, told staff: “Clearly, these are challenging times and this message will be unsettling. We will attempt to progress matters against an appropriate timetable, at the conclusion of which we should look forward to the remainder of 2009, positive in the knowledge that the firm with its diversity of practice and geography, will be well placed to meet the challenges ahead.”

Let’s hope the equity partners are satisfied that the latest cuts will be enough to see the firm through the rest of 2009.