DLA Piper pulls out the stops in bid to win Levi Strauss work

DLA Piper drafted in some 20-plus partners to wow Levi Strauss & Co’s legal team at a pitch for a Europe-wide mandate earlier this year.

DLA Piper won the pitch and was appointed to advise Levi’s on a non-exclusive basis across Europe, for an indefinite term, on franchising, distribution, real estate, commercial, litigation and employment issues.

Brussels-based IP partner Louis Puts led on the pitch, which took place at Levi’s Brussel’s office, and drafted in some 20 partners to help with the presentation to Levi’s legal team, according to a source close to the firm. Partners who helped with the pitch included London-based Ruth Hoy and Milan-based partner Giangiacomo Olivi – two of the firm’s leading fashion-industry lawyers, said Puts.

Puts would not comment on the exact number of lawyers involved in the pitch, but added: “We did put quite some effort in to the pitch. I organised it on quite a large scale.”

Puts is the firm’s relationship partner for Levi’s and works with the company’s chief European counsel, Sandrine Besnard-Corblet. Puts would not comment to say whether Levi’s was holding the pitch ahead of a particular project. A spokeswoman for Levi’s would only confirm that it does instruct DLA Piper in Europe, but on a non-exclusive basis. Puts would not comment on the value of the mandate, or whether the firm was doing the work on a fixed fee.

This is not the first time that DLA Piper has pitched to win work from Levi’s. According to Puts, in around 2009, the firm made a similar presentation but lost out to Orrick.

A spokesperson from Orrick said: “Orrick and Levi’s entered into a global retainer arrangement over three years ago. Earlier this year we mutually agreed to modify the arrangement such that Orrick would continue to handle significant high value work for Levi’s, but not the same breadth of work as previously handled globally. Orrick continues to provide substantial legal services to [Levi’s] internationally and considers the company a highly valued client.”