DLA Piper’s Denmark office is to split away from the expansive firm citing client conflicts which have arisen as a result of the Copenhagen operation’s desire to grow.

The 73-lawyer practice, which comprised half of the DLA Nordic network, will become totally independent from DLA Piper and re-brand as Horten.Horten will remain DLA Piper’s preferred referral firm in Denmark. The Anglo-American giant has not ruled out re-launching in the region in the future, although it has no immediate plans to do so.The move follows a strategy review by the Copenhagen partners, in which the firm concluded it needed to grow to between 125 and 150 lawyers and develop more clients in its core energy and pharmaceutical sectors.The firm has signed a lease for a new office, which is double the size of its current location, into which it will move all of its operations in 2009.DLA Nordic previously practiced as Lindh Stabell Horten having formed in 2001, by the three-way merger of Swedish firm Lindh, Norwegian outfit Stabell and Danish firm Horten. The firm then joined the DLA Group in 2004, although DLA Nordic only shared costs, not profits, with DLA Piper.The Copenhagen office’s decision to split off leaves DLA Nordic with just its Swedish base following the 90-lawyer Norwegian office fully integrating into DLA in 2006.DLA Nordic Denmark managing partner Jens Bugge, who will now head Horten, commented: “When we carried out the review we foresaw commercial conflicts that jeopardize our growth plans and decided we needed to change the nature of our relationship with DLA.”

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