The move comes a few weeks after DLA Piper announced the “final piece” of its expansion into Latin America via a tie up with Argentine firm Cabanellas Etchebarne Kelly.
DLA Piper said it became the largest firm in the Nordic region in 2017 after absorbing 150-lawyer Danish firm LETT. That move came a year after DLA Piper picked up Swedish firm Grönberg and bolted on Finnish outfit Peltonen LMR. The latter acquisition came at the same time that DLA Piper, which operates under the Swiss verein structure, integrated its Swedish arm into a separate entity containing its other Nordic operations.
The integration between DLA Piper and Delacour, initially unveiled in late June, was finalized on Aug. 29. The combined firm will have more than 200 lawyers in Copenhagen and Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark. Delacour, which according to Chambers and Partners also had offices in Moscow and the Faroe Islands capital of Tórshavn, focuses on business and commercial law. At least 18 partners from Delacour have made the move to DLA Piper.
“We are now in a position to develop an even more specialized advisory environment within key practice areas, such as M&A, real estate and restructuring,” said a statement from Martin Lavesen, managing partner of DLA Piper Denmark. “Our clients will benefit, as we will bolster both the breadth and depth of the legal services we can provide to the Danish business sector.”
DLA Piper’s acquisition of Delacour comes on the heels of several other deals of note by the 3,609-lawyer firm. DLA Piper struck agreements with Brazil’s Campos Mello Advogados in 2010, Mexico’s Gallastegui y Lozano in 2014 and Canada’s Davis and Colombia’s Martinez Neira in 2015. DLA Piper also absorbed Toronto’s Dimock Stratton in 2016 and acquired 50-lawyer Portuguese alliance firm ABBC and 60-lawyer Los Angeles shop Liner in 2017, a year in which the legal giant saw its gross revenue rise 7 percent, to $2.63 billion, while profits per equity partner increased 6 percent, to $1.76 million.
That expansion has not come, however, without some streamlining. In August, DLA Piper announced the sale of its stake in alternative legal services provider Riverview Law to global accounting firm Ernst & Young. Earlier this year, a roughly 50-lawyer team left DLA Piper in the United States to join McDermott Will & Emery.
On Monday, Latham & Watkins announced its hire of antitrust partner José María Jiménez Laiglesia in Madrid, where he most recently served as local head of competition for DLA Piper. The departure of Jiménez-Laiglesia comes nearly a year after former DLA Piper global co-chair Juan Picón left the firm to join Latham, which has been busy in recent months building up its operations in Madrid. Picón was followed to Latham in January by former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, who had worked at DLA Piper.