Legal Business Blogs

Partner promotions: DLA Piper promotes 44 to partner in corporate heavy round

Nearly 23% of the 44 lawyers making partner at DLA Piper in its 2015 round have been promoted in its corporate practice as the firm seeks to create a stronger M&A base and boost cross-border work.

With the firm having placed a greater emphasis on its corporate practice and integrating its client base across its international network, 10 corporate lawyers across 10 offices made the grade. While the firm bolstered its corporate ranks in London, Melbourne, Cologne and Rome, the remaining six corporate promotions were made in the US. The increased focus on the corporate practice is also hoped to boost profitability.

Nine lawyers were made up in the UK across five of its offices. Four of these came in London, where litigators James Carter and Tony Payne were made up alongside corporate lawyer Melanie James and restructuring specialist Neil Riley. This marks a rise on the number of UK lawyers made up in recent years, with seven British lawyers joining the partnership in 2014 and just four in 2013.The other major focus geographically was the US with 20 of the 44 new partners residing there.

The size of the round took a slight dip, down one on 2014 and, as well as corporate, saw promotions made in its finance and projects, intellectual property (IP) and technology, litigation and regulatory, and real estate practices.

London-based Simon Levine (pictured), global co-CEO of DLA Piper, said: ‘The quality of our people is crucial to our ambition to be the leading global business law firm advising the leading mature and emerging companies wherever they do business.’

San Diego-based Jay Rains, global co-CEO, added: ‘Our ability to develop the next generation of talent is a key component of our global strategy and a linchpin of our ongoing growth and service delivery to clients.’

Full list of DLA Piper’s 2015 partner promotions by office:



Joel Cox, Corporate


Astrid Beemster, Real Estate


Hong Kong

Ashley Bell, Litigation & Regulatory


Lillian Duan, Real Estate

France, Paris

Karine Disdier-Mikus, IP and Technology

Jonathan Rofé, IP and Technology



Jan Eltzschig, Corporate


Torsten Pokropp, Finance & Projects

Christian Schoop, Litigation & Regulatory



Alessandra Garzya, Employment

Christian Montinari, Tax


Giulio Maroncelli, Corporate

Japan, Tokyo

Lawrence Carter, Employment

Thailand, Bangkok

Benjamin Hirasawa, Real Estate

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Katie Montazeri, IP and Technology

United Kingdom


Gareth Stokes, IP and Technology


Matthew Duncombe, IP and Technology

Barney Smedley, Restructuring


Melanie James, Corporate

James Carter, Litigation & Regulatory

Tony Payne, Litigation & Regulatory

Neil Riley, Restructuring


Joseph Frew, Finance & Projects


Vikki McKay, Real Estate

United States


Brendan Kennedy, Litigation & Regulatory


Allen Ashley, Finance & Projects

David Bamlango, Finance & Projects

Mariah DiGrino, Real Estate

Shari Helft Lennon, Real Estate


Steven Torello, Corporate

Aaron Fountain, IP and Technology

New York

Nickie Cheney, Corporate

Victor Levy, Finance

Mark Deckman, Litigation & Regulatory

Northern Virginia

Thomas Hendershot, Corporate


Brian Benjet, Litigation & Regulatory


David Richardson, Corporate

San Diego

Tiffany Miller, IP and Technology

Robert Williams, IP and Technology

Brooke Killian Kim, Litigation & Regulatory


Andrew Ledbetter, Corporate

Short Hills

David Schwartz, Corporate

Washington DC

Randi Bernstein, Finance

Samuel Knowles, Litigation & Regulatory