Cobbetts, DLA Piper fall victim to DWF aggression

DLA Piper fall victim to DWF aggression” />DWF has poached a construction duo from DLA Piper just days after it acquired an entire family team from rival Cobbetts.

The construction practice at the North West firm will now be headed by partner Paul O’Kane, who was previously an associate at DLA Piper’s Manchester office. O’Kane will be joined by colleague Paul Barge.

Since its merger with Ricksons in January, DWF has been recruiting heavily and has taken on teams from firms such as Hammonds and Brabner Chaffe Street, balancing the heavy losses that resulted from the merger.

DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said: “The firm is dedicated to the overall growth strategy. Bringing in partners and associates that can do that for us is very important.”

Last week (25 April) the firm announced the arrival of three former Cobbetts family partners, expanding its capability in the matrimonial area.

Leaitherland said: “A lot of firms will focus on the heavy lifting areas such as banking and corporate, but we see value in focusing on private client as well. We’re not trying to cover all areas, but we think the practice areas we have recruited in are a necessary part of the firm.”

Last year The Lawyer reported (20 November) on DWF’s ambitious plans to double the firm’s turnover by 2009.

The merger with Ricksons was part of its growth plan, with Leaitherland saying the firm will continue to recruit.

“We’ll look at recruiting more people and this is all part of our strategy of adding critical mass to specialist areas,” he said.