Piper and DLA put capital markets at top of agenda

Merger suitors DLA and Piper Rudnick have issued a battle cry to finance practices in London and New York after announcing plans to attack capital markets following their anticipated December merger.

Management from both firms last week revealed plans to target corporate finance and capital markets in both New York and London.

It is understood that DLA is already in talks with partners from other firms with a view to acquiring a capital markets capability.

“Once we do the merger, we’ll be number one globally in real estate, number one or two in technology and at the top in litigation and regulatory. We’ll also create one of the largest corporate practices in the world by volume. This will be a launch pad for capital markets and finance generally,” said DLA managing partner Nigel Knowles.

The firm is aiming to leverage off its existing corporate and banking clients, as well as its geographical coverage of Central and Eastern Europe, where debt capital markets issuance has exploded in recent years.

DLA counts Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays among its key banking clients, for whom it largely undertakes mid-level buyout work.

Of the capital markets incumbents, Knowles said: “They should be very worried. When we set out to do something, we achieve it.”

He added: “In future, we’ll be able to say to any client, ‘Whatever you do, you’ll never outgrow us’.”