DLA Piper has opened a back office centre in Poland as part of a wider plan to enable 24/7 worldwide support across its business.
The office opened on 1 November and DLA is currently piloting the transfer of some of its administrative finance, HR, marketing and IT processes from Germany to the Warsaw office. The firm is also transferring some HR administrative work to the new base from the Netherlands.
DLA chief operating officer Andrew Darwin said: “We’re constantly looking at ways in which we can make the firm’s operations more efficient and effective, and piloting Warsaw for inclusion in our global shared services capability is part of that.
“For EMEA, we think Warsaw could be complementary to what we currently have in place and potentially offers an attractive combination of quality and value. Our objective is to improve our ability to provide integrated and efficient service internally so that, in turn, our lawyers can do the same for our clients.”
DLA already has service centres in Leeds and Tampa, in the US. As part of the attempt to enable a 24-hour service the firm is also looking into opening an additional back office in Asia. None of the staff in the current offices will be moved from their existing bases to the new office in Warsaw.
DLA would join the likes of Pinsent Masons, which was one of the first organisations to use Capita’s outsourced legal services in Poland in 2013; and Linklaters, which launched its business service centre in 2014 and has since relocated a number of support positions from its London and Colchester teams.
Earlier this week, White & Case announced plans to open a shared services centre to serve its European offices in what would be the firm’s third worldwide.
Although White & Case has yet to confirm the location of the office, it is thought that it might be considering the UK because of the additional time-zone flexibility and the availability of European languages.
A growing number of international firms have launched shared services centres in the UK recently, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which opened a lower-cost centre in Manchester earlier this year.
Freshfields is also considering opening two further legal services sites in Asia and the US following the launch of its Manchester base this summer, a move that would underline the growing trend for global firms to have three sites worldwide.
Other firms to have opened business services hubs in regional UK cities include Baker & McKenzie, which opened in Belfast last year, adding to its existing support centre in Manila; Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills, also in the Northern Irish capital; Berwin Leighton Paisner, which launched a Manchester hub in March last year, and Ashurst, which plumped for Glasgow in 2013.