Categories:Middle East

PEP drop at DLA Piper after Middle East woes

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  • Way more than 50% redundancies as they failed to mention there was an initial cull back in Jan '08, one of many non-disclosures. I should know as I was one of them and HR there even tried not to pay relocation back to blighty. Shabby. In-house now and DLA off the panel.

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  • DLA continues to invest huge amounts in growth, particularly geographic expansion and partner recruitment, and IT systems, which is artifically holding the PEP back compared to many rivals.

    This is a firm going places. Those at more established firms can sneer all they like but in ten years' time DLA will be magic circle.

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  • DLA - magic circle - don't make me laugh. Aggressive, frequently successful in achieving market penetration - yes. Likely to be regularly instructed and a trusted adviser on "bet the house" type plays to blue chip clients, unlikely without a radical reinvention of themselves (again) - Dibb Lupton Broomhead - we remember where you come from..... oh and well done for that. And I would say - who says striving to be so called "magic circle" is a good thing anyway.

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  • Anonymous @ 2:09pm - hilarious, investment in IT systems?!? I'm ex-DLA (left a few months ago), and certainly didn't see any of that. It must be one of the only large firms (if any) that doesn't even have digital dictation. Tapes and batteries all round.

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  • I like the way Sir Nige's pay packet stays the same at £1.5m even when the bottom of equity has dropped by £100k. That's a neat trick; I bet those hundreds of bods DLA laid off will be ecstatic to learn that, even in a dropping market, Sir Nige doesn't have to worry about his mortgage.
    No wonder NuLab loved him and gave him a knighthood... feathering one's own nest regardless of business sense and practicality, to say nothing of not looking after one's staff, seems to have been a prerequisite for praise under the last administration!

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  • Investment in financial system is turning into great chaos! Can they really measure their turnover or is it a guess?
    DLA was growing mainly financed by partner PEP and growing debt which will create a burden for the furture.
    Nigel is holding back some of the bad news and keeping partners satisfied by growth and success news.
    Will this end in a tragedy? DLA is not able to keept top talent as they are not able to keept what they are promising - that is their key problem.

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  • £12.9 million revenue per fee earner is a healthy £129,000 per fee earner. That's nearly enough to pay their salaries.

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  • I amazed DLA made any cash in the ME - sinking ship with no decent staff or clients.
    BTW - the 2008 revenue figures are almost certainly false as DLA's clients didn't pay on acount of the credit crunch and the general poor quality of service provided.

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  • Here we go again aboard the DLAP train (wreck)...

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  • DLA is unstoppable. To its competitors it's like lava flowing down a volcano, they can see it coming but can do little about it.

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  • Magic circle partners look down their noses at DLA Piper in much the same way that British motorcycle makers looked down their noses at the Japanese in the 1950s.

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  • Im currently at DLA and simply don't recognise or understand a lot of the negative comments on here.
    The sense of energy, dynamism, passion and sheer momentum at DLA is unlike anything I have ever experienced elsewhere (i'm ex MC).
    DLA is a place where teamwork really does mean something, everyone is pulling together to build a truly great firm. I genuinely love going to work every day, I love the people and I love the amazing work that the firm is now doing.

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  • Sterling work by the DLA Marketing team there.

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  • Pass the sick bag!!!!!

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  • We know of many DLA partners on the look out for other jobs (many others have left in the last 12 months) and therefore suspect the cobblers around investment in IT etc is nonsense and not convincing its own partners. There will be a quiet exit for many on the back of these PEP figures.

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  • WOW! DLA Piper is the undoubtedly the most pathetic law firm in the Middle East. Their partners are incompetent and working there was the most painful experience of my life. The Dubai office, they recently sub leased half their office space to a hotel company, and the sell within the firm was that "this was good for business as it means a potential client next door". Who the hell were they kidding? Damien McNairs profile on the DLA Website continues to insist that he supports the Middle East team, however he hasn’t actually done any noteworthy deals in the last 2 years.
    The best story of my time at DLA was Tony Holland (now DLA Phillips Fox CEO) story at end of year meeting last year, where he suggested that its hard for him to develop clients in the middle east as there are no footpaths for him to walk on, his exact words were " In Melbourne I would always leave my office at lunch and walk up and down the street, id always meet someone [who gave him an update on a deal or discussed future work]". Obviously with such great BD skills and the lack of footpaths in Dubai, it was inevitable that the firms "top tier" finance practice was doomed.
    I see a lot of criticism of DLA's Dubai office, but just up the road in Abu Dhabi, [This story comes from my very well placed sources in Abu Dhabi] that Stephen Webb and his colleagues from Mallesons were repeating the successes of "Dubai" all over again. Abu Dhabi was never seriously affected by the GFC, nonetheless Mr Webb and his constant "high level" management techniques have ensured that the office is in chaos, having NO Arabic speaking lawyers.
    Im glad ive left DLA Piper, im still in Dubai and working in house for a client, rest assured no work is coming DLA’s way. Despite schmoozing calls from desperate partners.

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  • I agree completely with Anonymous | 14-Jul-2010 5:07 pm.
    Re Anonymous | 14-Jul-2010 11:49 am - I don't think you'll be quite as sychophantic when DLA , true to form, rip you off in one way or an other.

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  • Good grief Anonymous at 5:07pm. You are clearly still very angry. I think you really need to let DLA go and move on with your life. DLA is a really good firm. Dubai did not work out - so what. DLA was not the only firm affected by the downturn and there were many redundancies across Dubai. Don't take it so personally.

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  • There are an awful lot of very bitter and twisted people on here. Why don't you stop bitching and just get over it. Move on. Get a life.

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  • These comments can be categorised into the "DLA is the future camp" and "DLA is plain rubbish".
    As incongruous as it may seem, these views are reconcileable if you take DLA as operating at the low end of the market, where, despite their marketing banter, their partners are best placed to operate on account of being mediocre.
    It's a gross over generalisation to say all DLA partners are mediocre, but mediocrity is a benign view taking account of the negativity and hilarity DLA partners often draw from other firms - noone believes the spin.
    As for DLA's Middle East operations, no comment is needed

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  • It seems as night follows day, as soon as there's an article mentioning the DLA in the Middle East, the knives, the bleating and the whining come out.
    Move on. If you can't - seek professional help.
    It is particularly disappointing to read comments made anonymously about individuals at the firm. Surely if these people are worthy of criticism, you should have no problem in putting your name to the criticism levelled against these people?
    Declaration of interest - yes, I used to work at DLA in Dubai

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  • For all the comments which suggest that people who complain about DLA "get a life and come out of the shadows", please stop. DLA (Middle East) was operated as a cowboy outfit (i mean look at the article which we are commenting on, there is a huge drop in profits and the Middle East operations are to blame!!!). As for the stealth element, the only people who acted dishonestly and in the shadows were the partners and HR at the aptly named DLA Sniper. As for those valiant defenders of the DLA brand, im assuming you are only defending them because you were apart of the Mallesons clique or your hoping that your next employer, should they ever read these posts get the "other side".

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  • Interesting that DLA's revenue peaked at GBP20million. Even at this level, DLA were seriously underperforming the market, with the established firms achieving double that in 2008/9. If DLA's headcount figures at the time were to be believed they had more partners and lawyers than any of these other firms making it doubtful there has ever been a profit, despite all the DLA generated hype at the time.

    It will take DLA a long time to catch any serious competitors at that rate even if the inevitable interest in the firm's very public train smash eventually subsides. And if you want to avoid the kind of adverse comments posted here, treat your people properly; criticising them for airing their greivances after the event does not help at all

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  • Dear Nathan,

    Is it really you. You should be the one to know that in Dubai one must act anonymously.

    I really wonder if Abdul Aziz has read the Dubai Code of Conduct? Are the Business Development activities conducted by him allowed in Dubai?

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  • How anyone can read the article and make the "unstoppable" comment in the previous post defies imagination!

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  • Dear ex DLA,

    Yes it is really me.

    My comments about spekaing openly are directed to the criticism of people who are no longer in Dubai, which I think are the majority of people named in the various posts.

    As you have wisely noted, there are certain legal issues with putting your name to criticism of people in Dubai that a prudent person should take heed of.

    Unfortunately Abdul Aziz was appointed after I left, so I cannot comment on what he is doing/has done.

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  • The comments section on The Lawyer.com: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

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  • One more thing, not only did they screw us lawyers but the support staff as well. Secretaries, drivers, office assistants. DLA is a joke. Hope the partners feel ashamed of what they have done.

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