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Dentons takes entire Tblisi office from DLA Piper as firm closes in Georgia

In its second office closure in a week, DLA Piper will shut down its Georgia operations with all fee earners, including two partners, departing for Dentons.

The global firm is set to open an office in Tblisi, with Dentons taking on a team of 11 lawyers including partners Otar Kipshidze and Avto Svanidze, who will join on 1 May.

The team specialises in litigation, corporate, banking and finance, intellectual property, energy, infrastructure and government work. Dentons has had a presence in Eastern Europe since 1991, when the firm opened an office in Russia, and now has offices in Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan across eastern Europe, the Caucuses and central asia.

The retreat is the second office closure for DLA this month after the firm confirmed it was to close its Berlin office after its sole partner moved, alongside an of counsel, to launch DWF’s offering in the German capital.

The launch in Georgia comes as Dentons’ European arm plans to open up in Amsterdam next month, merging with Dutch law firm Boekel. The European business has expanded into a number of new jurisdictions in the last two years, including Luxembourg and Italy through mergers and office launches.

Dentons European chief executive Tomasz Dabrowski said: ‘Our market-leading position in CEE-CIS is one of the jewels in Dentons’ crown. Our strategy for this region is simple: to be a top firm in all the markets where we are present.’

In September last year Dentons’ European arm made a capital call to raise an additional €6m to €7m in a move which Dabrowski called ‘good financial prudence’. European partners, excluding the UK which operates as a separate legal entity, have been asked to contribute up to €100,000 extra over a two-year period.

A DLA spokesperson said: ‘The firm has had a successful presence in Tbilisi since merging with a local Georgian law firm in 2005. However, we have since concluded that our respective interests and strategies can be better delivered separately in future’

They added: ‘We are confident that we can continue to support our global clients who operate there in an efficient manner and wish the team every success for the future.’

Read more: ‘The pitch – A new kind of global law firm emerges but can Dentons live up to the hype?’