DLA Piper will officially enter the Australian market on 1 May, after a successful partner vote at both DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox. However, DLA Piper will now have to share its launch date with fellow UK firm Clifford Chance, which also launches in Australia on 1 May, through a merger with boutique Sydney and Perth firms Chang, Pistilli & Simmons (CP&S) and Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe (CLCL).
DLA Phillips Fox chief executive Tony Holland said the arrival of another international player into the Australian market reinforces the strategy of DLA Piper, in terms of where they see the global legal market going. “Clifford Chance has a different approach and a different offering to DLA Piper,” he told ALB. “We are a full-service offering whereas they will be a boutique service offering in specialised areas.”
DLA Piper's Asia managing director Alastair Da Costa said integration was an important part of the firm’s global strategy. "This is a significant step in our strategy and brings us closer as a firm to achieving our vision,” he said of the successful partner vote. "The Asia Pacific economy is unquestionably where the majority of global growth will be seen in the coming years and we are excited about how we can leverage such growth for our clients' benefit."
Holland said there would be a lot of work to complete ahead of the 1 May deadline, including the integration of back end support systems such as IT and HR. “As we have been a group firm for four years now there has already been a lot of close contact with regards to clients and practice areas,” he said.
DLA Piper Australia will increase DLA Piper’s footprint to 30 countries and 75 offices across the globe, employing more than 4,100 lawyers.
DLA Phillips Fox, DLA Piper announce financial integration; NZ excluded 28 January
Clifford Chance makes its move on Australia 17 February 2011