Legal Business Blogs

Back on track: DLA Piper revenue rebounds past $2.6bn as 62 lawyers make partner

DLA Piper has bounced back from last year’s global turnover drop with double-digit percentage growth in net profit and promoted 62 lawyers to its partnership.

The firm’s global revenue rose to $2.63bn in 2017, up 7% on last year when turnover dipped below $2.5bn because of exchange rate fluctuations across its international business, which is divided between an international LLP and a US LLP.

In January, DLA added £75.5m to its international LLP’s top line on the back of exchange rate movement –  accounting for 69% of the international revenue improvement for the year ending 30 April 2017.

Total lawyer numbers dipped slightly to 3,609 from 3,615, having dropped by 140 the year previous. Revenue per lawyer at the firm rose 7% to $729,824, while net profit at was up 10% to $709m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) also rose to $1.76m from last year’s $1.66m – a 6% lift.

DLA also announced its latest partnership promotion round today (4 April), making up 62 lawyers across the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and South Africa. Women made up 20 of the promotions, while ten promotions were in the UK, including eight in London – although none in its around 100-lawyer Leeds office. Litigation and regulatory added 16 promotions, corporate 14, and tax and finance and projects both had eight.

DLA’s financial results and partnership promotions came as McDermott Will & Emery  brought in a team – including more than 20 partners – from DLA Piper’s US offices, in a string of major moves touted as adding $100m in revenue to its top line.

The US departures compound a turbulent end to 2017 for DLA Piper, with the firm losing its esteemed senior partner and global co-chair Juan Picón to Latham & Watkins in Spain. In February, it named veteran Andrew Darwin as its new senior partner after Picón’s departure sparked the firm’s first contested election in a decade.

DLA Piper promotions in the UK 

Chris Arnold, corporate
Joel Cooper, tax
Randall Fox, tax
Steven Krivinskas, finance and projects
Christina Lawrence, litigation and regulatory
Kelly Lovegrove, tax
Peter Lowe, real estate
Bryony Robottom, finance and projects

Phillip Kelly, litigation and regulatory

Alastair Clough, litigation and regulatory