DLA Piper’s Prague merger bucks downsizing trend

At a time when several international firms are reconsidering their European presence – witness the closure of Chadbourne & Parke’s Kiev office, Sidley Austin’s Frankfurt office, and both Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright’s Prague offices – DLA Piper has decided to expand in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE).

The firm has bolted on local two-partner outfit Haskovcova & Co, handing name partner Thu Nga Haskovcova the job of Czech managing partner. But DLA’s CEE expansion is unlikely to end there. According to regional managing partner Krzysztof Wiater, the Prague merger is the beginning of a serious focus on the CEE.

Wiater is eyeing further expansion in Poland, and also says the firm has recently reviewed its network of best friends across the region – picking the likes of Baltic powerhouse Sorainen as its go-to firm in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for instance.

DLA might be pushing against the tide, but it clearly feels it can still make money in the region – and it has plenty of weight to make its vision of being a CEE powerhouse a reality.

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