DLA Piper challenges the global giants as revenues soar to £850m

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary is snapping at the heels of the world’s largest law firms after revealing a global revenue of $1.5bn (£847.3m) for 2005.

On current estimates, the figure puts DLA Piper second only to Clifford Chance, which had a turnover of £914m in 2004-05.

DLA Piper joint chief executive officer Nigel Knowles said: “These results show that we’re making good progress in all our key markets, which in turn will enable us to realise our full potential as a global business.”

The result is the first for the combined firm since the merger of DLA, Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich and Piper Rudnick on 1 January 2005.

In 2004-05, DLA recorded a revenue of £322m, while in 2004 Gray Cary turned over $213m (£122.3m), with Piper Rudnick generating $580m (£333.1m).

Last year, DLA Piper overhauled its finances so that the UK arm changed its internal accounting procedures to run from January to December.

Meanwhile, the US arm has changed from reporting its accounts on a cash to an accrual basis.

The merger last year was the start of a process that has seen DLA Piper expand at an unparalleled rate.

The firm opened a slew of new international offices, including Beijing, Dubai and Frankfurt; it also boosted its operations in Brussels, Madrid and Moscow, among others.