DLA Piper

The Lawyer UK 200

  • UK 200 Position: 5
  • UK 200 Sha…

  • UK 200 Position: 5
  • UK 200 Share tip: BUY
  • Turnover: £446.0m
  • Profit per equity partner: £714,000
  • Earnings per partner: £285,000
  • Equity spread: £300,000-£1,500m
  • Net profit: £122.0m
  • Profit margin: 27 per cent
  • Revenue per fee-earner: £182,000
  • Revenue per lawyer: £224,000
  • Revenue per partner: £766,000
  • Revenue per equity partner: £2.61m
  • Total number of fee-earners: 2,450
  • Total number of qualified lawyers: 1,992
  • Total number of partners: 582
  • Total number of equity partners: 171
  • Total number of female partners: 98
  • Total number of female equity partners: 17
  • Total number of staff: 4,552
  • Leverage ratio (equity partners/fee-earners): 1/10.6

DLA Piper’s aggressive growth strategy of the past two years has really started to pay off, with revenue and profit rising robustly in the 2006-07 financial year.
Gross fees for the year across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, along with Asia (the firm’s US operations are still to be integrated financially), jumped by a healthy 22 per cent to £446.4m, with the UK accounting for the bulk of turnover with £304.8m.
That said, in terms of revenue growth, Continental Europe and the Middle East, where the firm has opened a number of offices in locations such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Oman, saw the most action over the period. For example, the Middle East, which accounted for just less than 1 per cent of total revenue, saw its headcount rise from zero to 47 during the year, with further expansion anticipated.
Continental Europe, which contributed 25 per cent of the firm’s overall revenue figure, saw growth of around 30 per cent. With the firm continuing to put an emphasis on its overseas offices, in particular Asia (which chips in 6.5 per cent of revenue), the divide between geographical contributions is expected to narrow, although the UK will remain the dominant force.
Looking at practice streams, DLA Piper differs from many of its competitors in that the percentage of revenue generated from each department is largely the same. On a global scale corporate accounts for 27 per cent of total revenues followed by finance at 22 per cent, litigation at 24 per cent and real estate at 20 per cent (marginal areas share the remaining 7 per cent between them). In the UK this equality is more striking with corporate, finance and litigation responsible for 24.7, 24.2 and 24.2 per cent respectively.
As for profit, the firm’s aggressive expansion tactics, which have continued with the establishment of an office in Warsaw, have paid off. Global net profit rose by an impressive 27 per cent to £104m with average profit per equity partner (PEP) rising by 18 per cent to £714,000. Partners based in London fared slightly better than the global average with the PEP figure coming in at £723,000, up from £619,000 last year.
Remuneration at the firm is based purely on performance with partners agreeing to meet a set of objectives at annual performance reviews. During the 2006-07 year, the smallest share of profit a partner took home was £300,000 while the highest was £1.5m.

2006-07: Corporate 9, real estate 5, finance 3, litigation 2, technology 4, regulatory 3
2005-06: Corporate 9, finance 4, real estate 5, employment 2, litigation 3, technology 2, regulatory 1
2004-05: Corporate 12, finance 6, regulatory 1, litigation 3

2006: Corporate 36, finance 16, real estate 9, employment 4, litigation 6, regulatory 5, technology 5
2005: Corporate 44, technology 16, regulatory 5, finance 4, employment 3, real estate 3, litigation 3
2004: Finance 12, corporate 14, litigation 8, technology 7, real estate 9, regulatory 5, employment 5, risk management 1

Intake as percentage of partnership: 23.4
New female partners as percentage of intake: 36.4
Firms recruited from: Coudert Brothers, Haarmann Hemmelrath, Linklaters, Hammonds, Denton Wilde Sapte, SJ Berwin
Equity structure: 150 equity partners, 307 non-equity
Practice area(s) most heavily promoted: Corporate, commercial, real estate.
*Figures supplied relate to the calendar year

DLA Piper has made up an impressive 74 partners in the past three years. A notable figure, but of the firm’s almost 2,000 lawyers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea), this actually only equates to promoting around 5 per cent to its partnership each year.
In fact, the firm boasts one of the tightest equities in the legal community, with just a third of the partnership sharing ownership of the business. DLA Piper has pledged to increase this through a natural evolution over time, but associates promoted into the partnership can typically expect to spend considerable time as a salaried partner.
Many of the 220 laterals over the past three years have come in clusters, either as teams or through the assimilation of whole firms.
Associates in the core areas of corporate, finance, litigation or real estate stand the best chance of making partner.

  • Web:

  • Telephone: 020 7796 6677
  • Fax: 0121 262 5793
  • No. of Trainees: 185
  • No. of Trainee Vacancies: 95
  • Training contract application deadline: 31-Jul-08
  • Selection
    • Individual interview: Yes
    • Panel interview: Yes
    • Assessment day: Yes
    • Psychometric test: Yes
    • Written exercise: Yes
    • Presentation: Yes
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Opportunities Abroad: Yes
  • Vacation Schemes
    • No. placements: 200
    • Summer vacation scheme application deadline: 31-Jan-08
  • GDL/CPE Intake: 40%
  • GDL/CPE funding
    • Fees: Yes
    • Maintenance: £5,000 to £7,000
  • LPC funding
    • Fees: Yes
    • Maintenance: £5,000 to £7,000
  • Salary/benefits
    • Start (London): £36,000
    • Qualification (London): £63,000
    • Season ticket loan: Yes
    • Healthcare: Yes
    • Pension scheme: Yes
    • Life assurance: Yes
    • Bonus scheme: Yes
    • Gym membership: Yes
    • Subsidised lunch: Yes
    • Free taxis after hours: Yes