DLA Piper’s Asia exits mount

Who needs a PR team when you have Facebook? Jolyon Ellwood-Russell, who has been with DLA Piper since 1999 and was promoted to the firm’s Asia-Pacific partnership in 2011, has not only just quit the firm for Simmons & Simmons, he also announced his move on the social media site.

Well, why not? It certainly helps get the message out there. A bigger issue for DLA Piper than modern communications is the apparent stream of talent exiting its Asia offices – three more partners have left the firm. This is probably a message the firm is even less keen on having promoted to the world.

As well as Ellwood-Russell, another partner (Giovanni Marino) has moved to Winston & Strawn while Ben Sandstad, who only joined the firm from Mayer Brown JSM a year ago, understood to have moved in-house to Standard Chartered Bank.

And there’s more. Last month Hong Kong corporate partner Esther Leung left DLA Piper for Chinese firm Jun He while four months earlier a four-lawyer team led by Asia corporate head Mabel Lui also went to Winston.

DLA Piper, of course, has been implementing some big changes in Asia recently, with a major overhaul of its management structure in the regions in a bid to increase the integration between the Asia offices and its US partnership.

An open door policy probably wasn’t part of the plan, but maybe we’ll check the firm’s Facebook page later to find out.

Also on TheLawyer.com:

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  • Growth has slowed after a five-year meteoric rise at Stewarts Law, with revenue increasing 2.6 per cent to £46.4m
  • Macfarlanes has extended its CV-blind policy to its training contracts, becoming the third firm after Mayer Brown and Clifford Chance to select trainees using the method
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