DLA Piper is a law firm with offices in over 40 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.[4] In 2021, it was the third largest law firm in the United States by revenue.[5]

DLA Piper
No. of attorneys4,255 (2022)[1]
Major practice areasArbitration, Banking, Competition and Trade, Corporate Crime, Corporate Finance, Employment, Energy, Government Affairs, Hospitality and Leisure, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Mergers and Acquisitions, Pensions, Private Equity, Real Estate, Restructuring, Securities, Tax, Technology
Key people
RevenueUS$3.68 billion (2022)[1]
Profit per equity partnerUS$2.8 million (2022)[1]
Date foundedFirst parent firm founded 1764; current organization dates to 2005 (by merger)
Company typeSwiss Verein (2 LLPs)

DLA Piper was formed in January 2005 by a merger between three law firms: San Diego-based Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP, Baltimore-based Piper Rudnick LLP and United Kingdom-based DLA LLP. It is composed of two partnerships, the United Kingdom-based DLA Piper International LLP and the United States-based DLA Piper LLP (US). The two partnerships share a single global board and are structured as a Swiss Verein.[6]





DLA Piper's origins can be traced back to four law firms: Dibb Lupton Broomhead, Alsop Stevens, Piper & Marbury, and Rudnick & Wolfe.[7][8][9] Dibb Lupton Broomhead was a UK law firm that was formed in 1988 after the merger of Dibb Lupton and Broomhead & Neals.[10] In 1996, the firm merged with the Liverpool-based law firm, Alsop Wilkinson, and became Dibb Lupton Alsop (DLA).[11] Meanwhile, in the United States, Piper & Marbury was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, and merged with Chicago-based Rudnick & Wolfe in 1999 to form Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe.[12]

Formation and growth (2005–2010)


DLA Piper was formed in 2005 after a merger between DLA, Piper Rudnick, and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich.[13][14] The merger created one of the largest law firms in the world at the time and the largest firm in the UK.[15] In 2006 the firm's name was shortened from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP to DLA Piper.[16] In 2005, DLA Piper launched New Perimeter, an international pro bono initiative that aimed to provide legal assistance in underserved regions.[17]

Throughout this period, the firm continued to open offices in various locations, such as Mexico City and São Paulo, as well as expanding its presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.[18][19][20][21] The firm also grew in the Australasian region through a series of mergers and acquisitions, including an exclusive alliance with Australian firm Phillips Fox in 2006.[22][23] Also in 2006, DLA Piper expanded its Middle Eastern presence by opening an outpost in Doha, Qatar,[24] later opening an office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2008.[25]

In 2008, DLA Piper opened an office in Kuwait as a joint venture with Kuwaiti law firm Al Wagayan, Al Awadhi & Al Saif to provide legal services to international and local clients operating under the DLA Piper Kuwait moniker.[26] In the US, the firm expanded into markets such as Houston, Texas, where it opened a practice focused on energy law in 2008.[27]

Recent developments (2010–present)


In 2010, DLA Piper entered into an cooperative agreement with Brazilian firm Campos Mello Avogados, located in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.[28] In 2011, DLA Phillips Fox (Australia) integrated with DLA Piper to become DLA Piper Australia.[29] DLA Phillips Fox (New Zealand) followed suit, becoming become DLA Piper New Zealand in 2015.[30] By February 2012, DLA became the largest firm in the world by headcount with over 4,000 attorneys,[31] and opened an office in Paris through a partnership with Frieh Bouhenic.[32]

In 2013-2014, the firm expanded to Seoul, Indonesia, Namibia, Algeria and Mexico City.[33][34][35][36] In 2014, it named Simon Levine managing partner, Global co-Chair and Global co-CEO.[37] His term was extended through 2024 to align with the appointment of Frank Ryan as Americas Chair, Global co-Chair and Global co-CEO in 2021.[38] In 2015, DLA Piper opened its Dublin office,[39] later opening an office in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2016.[40] The Portuguese firm ABBC[41] and the Danish firm LETT joined DLA Piper in March 2017.[42] In 2023, DLA Piper entered into the digital space and launched TOKO, a blockchain-based tokenisation platform with its Aldersgate Digital Ledger Solutions (DLS) group.[43]



DLA Piper has 80 offices in more than 40 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Australasia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.[44]

DLA Piper New Zealand is the first global, business law firm operating in New Zealand.[45][citation needed] with offices in Auckland and Wellington,[46] DLA Piper New Zealand provides counsel to private and public companies, central and local government entities, charities and other organisations.[47]

Political contributions


DLA Piper employees were the twelfth-largest donor to President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.[48] According to OpenSecrets, DLA Piper employees donated $2.19 million to federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle, 73% to Democrats.[49] By comparison, during that same period Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld employees donated $2.56 million, 66% to Democrats,[49] while oil conglomerate ExxonMobil employees donated $2.66 million, 88% to Republicans.[50] Since 1990, DLA Piper has contributed $16.97 million to federal campaigns, and spent over $1 million on lobbying since 2002.[51]



In 2010, DLA Piper represented Paul Ceglia in his claim that he hired Mark Zuckerberg to create a website that became Facebook and that under the agreement, Ceglia was entitled to ownership of 84 percent of Facebook, then worth multiple billions of dollars.[52] Zuckerberg and Facebook responded that Ceglia had hired Zuckerberg to work on an unrelated site, but Ceglia had fraudulently altered that contract to make it appear to cover Facebook. A DLA Piper attorney told the Wall Street Journal that although he had not seen the original document, he had "absolutely 100% confidence that [Mr. Ceglia's] agreement is authentic."[53] Ceglia's document was later found to be fraudulent, and in 2014, Facebook and Zuckerberg sued DLA Piper and others, claiming Ceglia's lawyers "knew or should have known that the [initial] lawsuit was a fraud."[54] The suit was later dismissed.[55][56]

In June 2020, Squire Patton Boggs filed Ferrellgas Partners LP et al. v. DLA Piper LLP US in Kansas,[57] on behalf of former firm client Ferrellgas, for a breach of fiduciary duty.[58][59]

Notable attorneys, advisors and staff


Notable former employees


See also



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