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DLA Piper's Mid-East head stands down after catastrophic year
16 October 2009
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DLA Piper has announced that partner David Church, who launched its Dubai office in 2006, has stepped down as Middle East regional managing partner.

It's hardly surprising. The moves comes after a catastrophic year for the firm's Middle East offices, with last month's Chambers Client Report claiming that the firm is paying a very heavy price for absurd overexpansion. Last December its Dubai office had grown from five to 120 lawyers, compared with about 30 at Lovells and Norton Rose. The article claims that it now holds 60, and it also reckons that:

  • Last autumn the firm moved to 29,000 square foot offices, with room for 200 lawyers.
  • The office has never made a profit.
  • The office was still recruiting in February this year.
  • But, errr, half a dozen partners have now been told that their notice period has begun.

Ah. Oh dear.

  What DLA Piper's Dubai office is going to hell in

Church said that he had always planned to move back to the UK after a few years. A spokeswoman for the firm said that "Church has been at the forefront of our international development for over a decade and will continue to lead on this now that he has stepped down as Regional Managing Partner. The management changes in the Middle East have been in the pipeline for a while as the plan had always been that David would handover the RMP role after a few years."

DLA Piper's Kuwait head, Abdul Aziz Al-Yaqout, will take over the role. He'll have a job on his hands...



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