Nigel Knowles tours UK to drum up support for ‘DLA Piper Rudnick’

DLA has issued a rallying cry to its European alliance members to back its transatlantic merger with Piper Runick, as the UK firm’s management embarks on a roadshow to urge partners to sign up to the deal.

The acceleration of the tie-up arrives as more details emerge of the two firms’ proposed merger, which will be known as DLA Piper Rudnick. A ballot is scheduled for 23 October and, if passed, the merger would go live on 1 January 2005.

As first revealed on www., DLA announced last week that it was breaking away from German ally Görg Rechtsanwälte and hiring the firm’s former managing partner Dr Ulrich Jungst to start its own office in the region.

Görg partners voted earlier this year not to pursue full integration with DLA, but it is understood that DLA is currently in talks with other Görg lawyers about potentially joining the UK’s burgeoning German presence.

The split from Görg comes just weeks after DLA announced that it was to sever links with its French best friend Ginestié Paley-Vincent et Associés, just as Piper Rudnick took on Hogan & Hartson’s one-time French ally Cariddi Mee Rue.

It is believed that the fiercely independent Ginestié was also opposed to a full union with DLA.

In contrast, DLA’s Norway, Sweden and Denmark allies pledged allegiance to full integration when they rebranded as DLA Nordic in June.

DLA managing partner Nigel Knowles and chief executive Andrew Darwin are currently touring the firm’s UK offices in a bid to garner support for the merger.

Earlier this month, Piper Rudnick and DLA signed non-binding heads of agreement on the merger. Among the terms, Knowles will take on the co-chief executive role along-side Piper Rudnick’s co-chairs Lee Miller and Frank Burch. Darwin will also be on the board of executives in the new firm.