Australian and Indian law firms have emerged as unlikely targets for DLA ahead of this Saturday’s (4 December) vote on the merger with Chicago’s Piper Rudnick.
Australian mid-market full service firm Phillips Fox is currently a ‘focus firm’ for DLA, suggesting a possible prelude to full merger talks. The 200-partner firm is well known in Australia for its IP and insurance litigation expertise. It has offices across Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam.
Australian firms have not been regarded as serious merger prospects in the UK due to their unprofitability. DLA partners have also indicated that the firm will deepen ties with Indian-focused firm Little & Co.
A DLA partner said: “The focus firm status doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll merge. Sometimes we use a focus firm just as a stalking horse.”
DLA managing partner Nigel Knowles said the focus at present is Piper and partners were simply getting “overexcited”.
But one ‘excited’ DLA partner insisted: “It’s definitely happening. It’s our next step after Piper Rudnick.”