DLA Piper stays true to its strategy down under

This past week was not the best one for DLA Piper. The firm saw two of its regional practice heads left to join Australian rival Gilbert + Tobin in Melbourne and a 23-lawyer insurance team moved to domestic firm HWL Ebsworth in Sydney.

Today, DLA Piper’s Australia managing partner Andrew Darwin, who is the former UK chief, told The Lawyer about the firm’s on-going restructuring in Australia in a bid to bring the country’s practices in line with its business model globally.

As Darwin unveiled, litigation currently accounts for over 40 per cent of DLA Piper’s Australian revenues, against 25-30 per cent globally. He identified that transactional practices are the firm’s focus on growth and recruitments, including corporate, finance and projects, IP and real estate.

Today, the firm also named two new practice heads for Australia and the Asia Pacific region to replace two senior departures – former Australia chief and Asia Pacific finance head Tony Holland and former Asia Pacific head of finance and projects Damien McNair, both of whom left to join Gilbert + Tobin.

Although DLA Piper is disappointed about the two heavyweight departures, in the words of Darwin it is “not the end of the world for us”. The firm, he insisted, is committed to growing Australia, its third largest regional business after UK and US.

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