Law firm extends Asia-Pacific reach

THE Sheffield office of DLA Piper is set to extend its reach as part of the world’s largest business law firm following the announcement that the group’s Australian partner, DLA Phillips Fox, is to fully integrate within the organisation.

DLA Piper International LLP and leading Australian business law firm DLA Phillips Fox have agreed a proposal, which is now being put to partner vote, to merge, creating an unrivalled Asia Pacific capability. Both firms expect to gain overwhelming partner consent for the integration by the end of February with the agreement becoming effective on May 1.

The proposals will extend the DLA Piper footprint across 30 countries and over 70 offices, accommodating over 4,000 lawyers, and create the largest Australian operation for a global business law firm.

On completion of the integration, DLA Piper’s Asia Managing Director Alastair Da Costa, a graduate of Leeds University who’s career with DLA Piper began in Leeds in 1992, will become Managing Director for the whole of the Asia Pacific business.

Stephen Sly, managing partner of DLA Piper in Sheffield and elected member of the firm’s international board commented: “From Sheffield we are proud to advise regional, national and increasingly international clients. Connections to the Asia Pacific region are extremely significant for Sheffield, in particular South Yorkshire’s major international manufacturing businesses with strong links to this part of the world, with whom we work very closely.

“Many of our Yorkshire-based clients continue to prosper through links with international markets. We’re proud to offer the benefit of a seamless international reach, market-leading expertise and contacts in key jurisdictions. The integration will add to this offer and is focused on markets that are increasingly important to Yorkshire businesses.”

The Asia Pacific business will have revenues expected to exceed £195m and will comprise over 700 lawyers in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.

In addition to more than 300 lawyers from the West Coast of the United States, this business will have the depth and breadth to rival any other law firm in the region and will provide clients with seamless multijurisdictional capabilities.