Legal Business Blogs

‘Our growing European footprint’: DWF launches in Paris with four partner firm

Following its Belfast merger at the end of 2016, DWF has launched in Paris with the acquisition of four partner law firm Heenan Paris.

DWF will benefit from Heenan’s particular focus on corporate, private equity, commercial, IP/IT and litigation. The French firm also services Sub-Saharan French speaking Africa and holds an exclusive strategic alliance with South African law firm Thomson Wilks which has seven offices throughout the country.

DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland (pictured) said: ‘France is a key market for us, both in terms of its size and importance within Europe and because our clients are instructing us on an increasing amount of work with a significant French legal component. As one of Germany’s largest and most significant trading partners, the merger also complements our growing European footprint.’

DWF posted mixed results for the 2015/16 financial year, with global top-line revenue down 2% to £187.1m from £191m, while profit per equity partner was up 2% to £331,000 from £325,000. This was a better performance than last year when the firm’s PEP dropped 16%.

On 1 January 2016, DWF merged with former German commercial law firm BridgeHouseLaw giving the firm offices in Munich and Cologne. The firm also merged with niche insurance practice Fox Hartley in May last year to enhance the firm’s Lloyds market expertise and help secure new domestic and international insurer clients. It was revealed in November that DWF had secured a merger in Northern Ireland with Belfast firm C&H Jefferson. The 20-partner firm joined at the end of last year.

Major client wins and panel appointments for the firm last year included Serco, Pearson, and Tate Chemicals Europe.