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‘Natural evolution’: DLA Piper swoops into Lisbon with new tie-up

DLA Piper has announced it is integrating Portuguese firm ABBC into its global network, a move effective from today (7 March). Widely regarded as Portugal’s leading aviation law firm, ABBC has 50 lawyers in its Lisbon headquarters.

Full service firm ABBC has been a DLA relationship firm since 2010 and will now adopt the DLA Piper brand. ABBC’s affiliated Angolan firm ADCA, will remain a part of the DLA Piper Africa Group.

The incorporation of ABBC adds to DLA’s strong international network, with lawyers located in more than 40 countries spanning Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America.

DLA co-global chief executive Simon Levine (pictured) commented: ‘With the close economic integration of Spain and Portugal, the Iberian legal market has been increasingly seen by our clients as a single market.

‘We have worked closely with ABBC for many years now and it is a natural evolution for us to join forces.’

Managing partner of DLA in Portugal, Nuno Azevedo Neves, added: ‘Our relationship with DLA Piper has developed progressively over the past few years and our people and clients have benefited from access to the resources and capabilities of a global firm. Therefore, we are delighted to have the opportunity to complete the integration and to become part of DLA Piper.’

In February 2016, ABBC advised Santander Totta in its €150m acquisition of the Portuguese bank Banif – Banco Internacional do Funchal. The deal saw Santander become Portugal’s second-largest private bank with a 14.5% market share in loans and deposits.

The decision to integrate with ABBC follows DLA Piper’s merger with Swedish firm Grönberg Advokatbyrå in June 2016. As part of the deal, Grönberg Advokatbyrå’s 21 lawyers and seven support staff joined DLA’s Stockholm office in October 2016.

Earlier in 2016, DLA severed its ties with Venezuelan firm InterJuris after a five-year partnership, reducing its presence in Latin America to Mexico, Brazil and Colombia.