DLA Piper hires $3m cruise ship for partner meeting

DLA Piper is understood to have paid $3.1m (£2m) to hire a cruise liner to play host to its partner meeting in May, with partners set to bond over a four-night Mediterranean cruise due to set sail from Barcelona.

Cruise liner

The plan, as reported by the Washingtonian, is to hold this year’s partner meeting on the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, understood to be the second-largest cruise ship in the world. The price of the boat alone is thought to cost $3.1m during the peak season of March through to August.

While on board partners could opt to take advantage of the cruise liner’s various activities, including a cupcake cupboard, surf simulator and ice skating rink.

This is not the first time DLA has hired a cruise ship to host a meeting. Partners enjoyed a similar scene in 2008 (31 March 2008), when the firm opted for the Royal Caribbean cruise liner The Navigator of the Sea to host its global partners’ conference off the coast of Barcelona.

Activities on the trip included wine tasting, rock climbing and miniature golf, while the conference agenda included CSR programmes and a spot of client networking.

“All pretty dry,” said one DLA insider at the time.

The news follows the firm’s announcement in November that it had put 251 staff into redundancy consultation following a review of its domestic business (13 November 2012). It was one of the UK legal market’s biggest rounds of lay-offs since 2008.

The firm then confirmed that it would shut its 75-staff Glasgow office (24 January 2013), with the office’s 10 partners relocating to the firm’s Edinburgh office, where there are 30 jobs available for fee-earners and staff.

A spokesperson for DLA declined to comment.