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Exclusive: DLA in Melbourne gloom

Exclusive: DLA in Melbourne gloom

Two partners have ditched DLA Piper for a boutique firm, with the global firm’s Melbourne partnership almost halved in just under two years.

Steven Casper and Richard Moshinsky are the latest partners to leave the firm’s Melbourne office, with the duo joining the Melbourne boutique firm SBA Law.

“They are first-rate, blue chip commercial lawyers,” said Sam Bond (pictured), one of six principals at SBA Law when speaking to Lawyers Weekly.

Bond, a dispute resolution specialist, handles much of the litigation work for business baron Solomon Lew.

SBA Law has around 15 to 20 lawyers in Melbourne. Its last high-profile recruit was Steven Klein, a senior partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, who joined the firm in August 2011 and who counts Seek as a major client.

Casper was a partner at DLA for 21 years, and had held senior positions within the firm.

Moshinsky, an M&A, private equity and corporate specialist, was also one of the most highly regarded of the firm’s Melbourne partners, with the duo’s defection a significant loss.

The defecting DLA duo are due to start at SBA Law in mid-July.

Lawyers Weekly can also confirm that senior associates Joshua Heard and Greg Monahan, along with special counsel Cynthia Sica, will also be leaving DLA to join Moshinsky and Casper at SBA Law.

Mass exodus

Casper and Moshinsky join a number of senior DLA figures who have moved on from the firm’s Melbourne office over the past 12 months.

DLA’s former Melbourne managing partner, Peter Monk, joined the Melbourne boutique Hive Legal last month. Monk joined Simon Davidson at Hive, who left DLA in late 2013 after more than five years in the partnership.

In April, projects and finance partner Bruce Linke left the firm to establish his own consultancy, while Melbourne-based projects partner Ellen Williamson is believed to have retired from the partnership after almost three decades as a partner, and is currently a consultant with the firm.

In November 2013, the firm’s former Australian managing partner, Tony Holland, joined Gilbert + Tobin’s Melbourne office with projects and infrastructure partner Damian McNair.

“Morale is low, and the situation in Melbourne is not good,” said one source intimate with the firm’s Melbourne partnership.

Last month Kon Tsiakis joined DLA’s Melbourne partnership from HWL Ebsworth.

Lawyers Weekly understands that as of June 2012, the firm's Melbourne partner numbers stood at 43.

DLA Piper have told Lawyers Weekly that as of 1 January 2013, the firm had 39 partners in Melbourne.

The loss of Casper and Moshinsky brings the firm's current number of partners in Melbourne to 24.

This month DLA has also lost the Sydney partners Adrian Smith and Robert Crittenden.

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Exclusive: DLA in Melbourne gloom
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