DLA Piper bolsters Emea equity numbers

DLA Piper is to widen its Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) equity partnership after promoting a record number of partners into ownership of the firm’s business this year.

DLA Piper has come in for criticism from rivals for having the tightest equity ratio in the City at just 29 per cent, therefore giving it an artificially high average profit per equity partner figure.

DLA Piper joint chief executive Nigel Knowles told The Lawyer: “We’ll get a better proportion [of equity partners] than we have now. There’s been no veto based on keeping it small and no plan to keep it tight. Our ratio will evolve and change.”

The firm doubled its previous best annual equity partnership promotions, making up 18 in the Emea region for 2007. The firm also added several partners to the equity after the September 2006 full integration of the Norwegian practice of DLA Nordic.

Knowles said the firm would not make a swathe of promotions simply to improve the ratio. He added: “I’m only prepared to admit into the equity the people who are right. We’ve only promoted people who we believe meet the standards for equity in our firm.”