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Partners vote for DLA Piper entry

Partners vote for DLA Piper entry

Partners from both DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox have voted in favour of formal integration.DLA Phillips Fox CEO Tony Holland said yesterday's (28 February) partnership saw partners from his…

Partners from both DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox have voted in favour of formal integration.

DLA Phillips Fox CEO Tony Holland said yesterday's (28 February) partnership saw partners from his firm vote overwhelmingly in favour of formal integration, with more than 80 per cent of partners voting yes.

"We are now in the process of integrating a lot of our systems, such as IT" Holland told Lawyers Weekly.

"There will also need to be a significant amount of rebranding, given the change of name, so there will be a lot of activity in the next two months and into the future."

The affirmative partnership vote means that from 1 May, DLA Phillips Fox will become a financially integrated member of the DLA Piper global network. Holland will be the regional managing partner for Australia and a member of the executive for the Asia-Pacific.

Since November 2006, DLA Phillips Fox has been "affiliated" with DLA Piper, receiving and referring work from the global firm, but has not been a fully integrated member of the group.

DLA Piper has 75 offices in 30 countries, with more than 4100 lawyers.

Upon first announcing the move in January, Holland said that the merger would create the world's largest business law firm and the largest global firm in Australia.

In the Asia-Pacific region, DLA Piper is expected to generate revenues in excess of $340 million once its Australian operation is combined with offices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.

DLA Phillips Fox currently has offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra.

Since the announcement of DLA Piper's formal entry into the Australian market, its global rival Clifford Chance has announced it will enter the Australian market on 1 May, opening offices in Sydney and Perth after merging with corporate boutique firms Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe and Chang, Pistilli & Simmons.

Holland said the arrival of Clifford Chance should have no impact on his firm's strategy and approach.

"We had done a lot of research into our strategy and have a different structure to the boutique M&A offering Clifford Chance will bring to the Australian market," he said.

"Our offering to our clients will be as a full-service business law firm."

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