Biglaw

DLA Piper Merges with Canadian Firm Davis LLC
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Summary: DLA Piper has announced that it will merge with Davis, a Canadian firm, and that the merger will be effective in April.

DLA Piper has merged with Davis, a 260-attorney law firm located in Vancouver, Canada, American Lawyer reports. The merger, which will become effective in April, is the most recent marriage of a global firm based in the United States with a Canadian firm. According to the Chicago Business Journal, the financial details of the deal have not yet been released.

  
What
Where


A large majority of Davis partners voted to approve the merger. DLA Piper’s global and American boards gave the green light to the deal the week before. DLA Piper will now have seven new offices aside from the Vancouver one, including Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Tokyo, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, and Calgary. Whitehorse and Yellowknife are located in mining-rich provinces in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, respectively.

Earlier this year, Saxby Chambliss joined DLA Piper.

The partnering of the firms will increase DLA Piper’s attorney numbers to 4,460 worldwide. The firm’s move is its boldest since May of 2011, when it revealed that it would integrate with DLA Phillips Fox , an alliance partner located in Australia. DLA Phillips Fox’s New Zealand unit has also joined, and the two will rebrand under DLA Piper’s name. However, some report that the New Zealand unit will remain financially independent.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Davis will now be known as DLA Piper (Canada). Davis was founded in 1892 and focuses primarily on natural resources, infrastructure, transport, energy, and related corporate and finance areas. Managing partner Robert Seidel said that the merger was a “one-of-a-kind” opportunity, and that it was triggered by the knowledge that its clients have global interests. “This combination will allow us to provide seamless global services to them while continuing to work with our domestic clients in the manner they have become accustomed.”



Do you think expanding into Canada is a good idea for law firms?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Roger Meltzer, the global and Americas co-chairman at DLA Piper, said that the firm has been interested in moving into Canada since at least 2012. Last year, a valiant effort to open an office with 70 partners from the now defunct Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie failed. Afterward, Meltzer said that the firm “took a breath, took a step back…and we decided we’ve got to be more disruptive, more aggressive about it, we’ve got to do something more surprising. Let’s see if there’s a firm out there that fits our size and scope without overbuying in what is already a crowded Canadian legal market.”

DLA Piper has recently ventured into cybersecurity law.

With the assistance of a legal recruiter, Meltzer began speaking with Seidel in the spring. As they discussed their firms, they realized that the cultures of the firms were very similar. Davis was strongest in the areas of law that were a significant focus for DLA Piper, including energy, project finance, mining, and venture capital. Meltzer was apparently very impressed with the management of the firm, which has kept profitability steady and increased revenue even though oil prices have dropped. According to Wikipedia, DLA Piper is the largest firm in the world according to revenue.

DLA Piper will contribute to some of the costs in building up the Toronto office of Davis, as well as offering other support. The firms have already referred cross-border work to each other over the past few months to test their relationship.

DLA Piper is the most recent global firm to expand into Canada. Midlevel firms have been a major acquisition target for these global firms. Two other firms had more success in acquiring attorneys from Heenan Blaikie last year. These firms were Dentons and Baker & McKenzie.

Read about Dentons’ acquisition of these attorneys here.

Norton Rose was the first firm to expand into Canada, closing a deal with Ogilvy Renault, a 450-attorney law firm, in 2010. Macleod Dixon, a Calgary-based firm, joined Norton Rose in 2011, and just a year later Fulbright & Jaworski was added to the mix. Many firms are attracted to Canada because of its role in global energy and its mining interests. It also has a stable banking industry.

Meltzer explained that when mid-tier firms in Canada joined with global firms, their brand recognition skyrocketed in Canada. “We think we’re going to have the same effect on Davis,” he commented.

Source: American Lawyer

Photo credit: lexpert.ca



 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top