DLA Piper faces regional revolt over LawVest investments

The growing row over private investments made by partners at DLA Piper, exclusively revealed by The Lawyer, shows no sign of dying down, with angry questions asked during a conference call held yesterday with regional partners to discuss the matter.


Nigel Knowles
Nigel Knowles

As The Lawyer reported this week, the firm had called a board meeting on Tuesday after partners expressed their outrage over personal investments made in alternative business structure LawVest by a small group including co-chief executive Sir Nigel Knowles. The partners did not declarethose investments to the firm’s board or the wider partnership (27 February 2012).

The issue stepped up yesterday with the circulation of an internal note by the board followed by a conference call with regional partners to discuss the issue.

The note said that the board was satisfied that every partner who had invested inLawVest, including Knowles, did so in good faith. It also said that every partner who had invested, again including Knowles, had agreed to divest him or herself of that investment.

Tony Angel
Tony Angel

During the subsequent call, which is understood to have been hosted by co-global chairman Tony Angel and from which London-based partners were specifically excluded, one partner asked to know the identities of all of the partners that had invested.

Angel is understood not to have responded. At that point a partner asked how, if the board did not have that information, it could be confident that the investments were made in good faith.

Angel’s response to this question is not known. Neither he nor the firm responded to additional questions on this issue put by The Lawyer or to requests for a comment on this article.

The Lawyer understands a meeting will be held today in the firm’s City offices to discuss the issue with London-based partners.