DLA Piper is all set to emerge as the largest law firm in the world in terms of revenues and the number of lawyers, after it merges with its Australian partner DLA Phillips Fox.
The merger, which would make DLA Piper the 'Wal-Mart' of law firms, is set to take effect on May 1, following a partnership vote. DLA needs approval from 75 percent of its partners for the integration to take place.
DLA Piper Co-CEO Nigel Knowles and DLA Piper Global Chairman Frank Burch are confident that their global partners would give the tie-up their backing.
The cementing of the relationship between DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox is part of our Global Strategy and is an integral part in helping us become the world's leading business law firm. As part of our strategy we are committed to expansion within the G20 nations, and with Australia as the 14th largest industrialized nation it provides excellent opportunities with its strong ties to some of the most rapidly growing economies in Asia, they said in a joint statement.
With the integration of DLA Phillips Fox, DLA Piper will be the world’s largest business law firm, uniquely positioning our firm to serve the world’s leading enterprises wherever they may conduct business.
The merger will make DLA Piper bigger than Baker & McKenzie, currently the biggest law firm in the world. It would add about 700 lawyers to DLA Piper and help it create the world's largest law firm with more than 4,000 attorneys. Once the terms are agreed upon, DLA Phillips Fox will become part of DLA Piper's international to create an unrivaled Asia Pacific capability.
Talks of the merger between DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox has been going on for quite some time because Australia is an important market to DLA Piper.
According to the Bloomberg data, DLA Piper advised on $3.5 billion worth of takeovers in Australia last year, almost a 12-fold increase from $305 million in 2009.
DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox formed an exclusive alliance in 2006 and, according to Knowles, the merger is part of the law firm's strategy to expand in the Group of 20 countries.
The cementing of the relationship between DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox is part of our Global Strategy and is an integral part in helping us become the world's leading business law firm, Knowles said in a statement.
DLA Piper, which was created in 2005 by the merger of DLA, Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary, also said that Australia provides excellent opportunities because of its strong ties to some of the most rapidly growing economies in Asia.
On completion of the merger, DLA Piper's Asia Managing Director Alastair Da Costa will become managing director for the firm's entire Asia Pacific business, while DLA Phillips Fox CEO Tony Holland will continue to manage operations in Australia as DLA Piper's regional managing partner for Australia, and will be a member of the executive committee responsible for the Asia Pacific business.
This expansion in cross-border activity and growing demand by companies for seamless legal and business advice wherever they operate is a major factor in our decision to join forces and build the Asia Pacific region’s leading business law firm, Chicago-based Da Costa said. Our vision is to become the world’s leading business law firm and this significant expansion of our resources in the Asia Pacific region will deliver optimal services to our clients.
We have had a good understanding of the globalization of business and of the legal market for some time and our affiliation with DLA Piper has enabled us to service clients who are looking to grow internationally. This full integration with DLA Piper will allow us to grow and better meet our Australian clients' increasingly global needs and the needs of DLA Piper's global clients, Holland said.