Never a firm to shy away from the grand gesture, DLA Piper is poised to grab four offices from the disintegrating EY Law network. These hires certainly have the whiff of opportunism. Although EY Law's Polish firm Domañski Zakrzewski Palinka blossomed after splitting from its accounting parent, the Moscow, St Petersburg, Kiev and Tbilisi offices, profitable though they are, seemed unlikely to survive alone and without a steady stream of international referral work. Nevertheless, market commentators are unanimous: the EY Law CIS offering is a good catch.
Now, the almost certain departure of the 100-lawyer CIS group has sources asking, "What next?" - and DLA Piper seems to be on a roll with EY Law. Already, DLA Piper's German operation is powered by former Luther Menold partners and the global giant last year gorged itself on EY Law's Italian operation to debut in Rome. Little remains of EY Law's French practice, but a couple of hidden gems remain. EY Law's Prague offering is said to be watching the Russian talks closely and could soon follow suit in joining DLA Piper. Finally, the Greek operation, PI Partners, is regarded by EY Law sources as a quality outfit ripe for the picking. And DLA Piper has no Greek coverage. Next stop Athens?