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DLA Piper sharpens sector strategy to focus on seven key areas

Global law firm DLA Piper has launched a seven-sector strategy as the firm bids to sharpen its focus and foster great amounts of cross-selling.

DLA Piper, which is pushing a high-profit agenda that last year resulted in a 13% jump in profits per equity partner to $1.33m, will reduce its sector focus from 15 to seven industries. These are:

  • Banking and financial services
  • Life sciences
  • Real estate
  • Insurance
  • Technology
  • Energy
  • Media, sports and entertainment

The firm will channel the vast majority of investment into these seven sectors after a report concluded in June selected them as high growth markets where the firm has a strong footing. The report, commissioned by co-chief executives Jay Rains and Simon Levine after taking the top job in January, was conducted by sector heads Ann Ford and Jan Geert Meents.

The firm estimates that the seven sectors currently account for around 55% of global revenue, with its energy and media, sports and entertainment groups currently the smallest of the seven but seen as having growth potential by top brass. Indeed, DLA’s energy group was boosted in March following the firm’s merger with Canadian mining specialist Davis.

While the firm has a deep banking and financial services bench, some inside the firm still feel that the group could have a stronger footing in the key financial centres. Following completion of the sectors report, DLA will now create an action plan to strengthen the firm’s banking and financial services profile across New York, London and Hong Kong.

Meents says: ‘We will hold the sector head more liable for the success or lack of success of the firm over the next years as these are the important sectors for the firm. They will also provide a blueprint for other sectors, which could then become key sectors over time.’

Levine (pictured), who has sharpened DLA’s focus on integration and profitability since taking charge of the firm’s international arm at the start of the year, added: ‘We will still invest in all fifteen sectors but if you take a pot of money and say where am I going to direct this additional investment, it will go on these seven. We are not losing the others, and we will continue to invest in and develop them, but just not at the same rate.’