DLA Piper departures force UK commercial and projects rejig

DLA Piper has restructured its UK commercial and projects practice, disbanding the group as three partners leave the firm.

The firm has split the practice into the banking group and the technology and media group. The banking and finance group will now be renamed as the finance and projects group, while technology, media and communications will become the technology, media and commercial (TMC) group.

Commercial and projects location heads will relinquish their team leader roles and return to full-time fee-earning. UK banking head Michael Burton will remain head of the renamed finance and projects practice, reporting to an as yet unnamed European finance and projects head. London-based projects partner Ruth Ambrose has quit to join project management giant Amec as in-house counsel, while partner Louisa Cilenti has left “seeking new challenges”, according to London projects head Peter Michau. Fellow partner Anil Mehta is moving to the Olympic Delivery Authority on secondment.

“There was confusion in the marketplace about the combination of the commercial and projects practices. It’s a natural evolution to put the projects practice in with the finance group and the commercial practice with the technology and media group,” said Michau.

Helen Samaha is the only London-based partner to move to the new TMC group, while eight projects partners move into the finance practice.

The move is part of DLA Piper’s European realignment ahead of its planned full integration with its US operations.