This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – FRANCHISE, REAL ESTATE, SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
DLA Piper continued its global expansion in 2013 opening an office in Seoul, South Korea focusing on M&A, litigation and arbitration, project finance and IP, and forming a new association with IAB&F in Indonesia. It also expanded into North, South and East Africa with the addition of three new member firms.
|Arbitration||3||Insurance & Reinsurance||11|
|Aviation||8||Labour & Employment||3|
|Business Crime Defence||5||M&A||1|
|Commercial Litigation||2||Private Client||1|
|Construction||1||Product Liability Defence||3|
|Corporate Governance||1||Project Finance||5|
|Corporate Tax||5||Public Procurement||3|
|Environment||6||Sports & Entertainment||10|
|Franchise||17||Telecoms & Media||5|
|Insolvency & Resturcuring||5|
Since its creation in 2005 through the merger of DLA, Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary, the firm has embarked on ambitious growth plans which have seen it expand into growth markets including the CIS, the Middle East, Africa and important US markets. Its global coverage is virtually unrivalled by any other law firm. Leading the firm’s strategy are the co-chairs of the global board, Tony Angel and Lee Miller, and the firm’s co-CEOs, Terry O’Malley in the US and Sir Nigel Knowles in the UK.
|Total Listings in WWL||165||Established||2005|
|Total size of firm||8000||Number of offices||105|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
DLA Piper dominates the global real estate market with over 550 lawyers located in its offices throughout the world. With the highest number of individuals in our research, the firm earns the accolade of “Real Estate Law Firm of the Year”. Jay Epstien is co-chair of the global real estate practice and chair of the US practice. He represents local and national owners, developers and users in real estate transactions involving urban office buildings, shopping centres and multi-family residential projects. Olaf Schmidt in Milan heads the international and Italian real estate departments. He specialises in assisting clients in identifying and implementing the most suitable structure for their real estate investments. Joseph Forte joined the firm at the start of 2013 and is “internationally renowned” for his experience in real estate finance. He “stands out” for his representation of traditional portfolio lenders and special servicers in CMBS transactions. In San Francisco, Stephen Cowan is “first rate” for real estate fund formations, transactions and workouts. Martin Polevoy heads the real estate group in New York and is lauded for his “excellent attention to detail”. His representative work includes representing L’Oréal USA in their new 400,000 square-foot headquarters lease at the Hudson Yards development project in Manhattan. Philip Weller is the managing partner of the Dallas office and is a “real estate specialist”. His clients include equity investors, sponsors, developers, interim lenders and long-term debt providers. Chicago-based Portia Morrison has a “superb reputation” in the commercial real estate sector. She advises on site selection and land acquisition, construction, sales and leasing activities, and financing. Les Koltai is the Australian head of real estate and has been involved in real estate and real estate funds management transactions for more than 20 years. He is particularly well known for his work on cross-border transactions and advises new foreign entrants to the Australian market on their investments.
The firm’s franchise practice is also “market-leading”. Standouts include Philip Zeidman, an “expert” in franchising and distribution. He is “internationally renowned” and is widely considered “one of the elite lawyers in this field”. Erik Wulff specialises in global brand expansion for consumer products and services companies. His representative experience includes advising a multi-brand retailer of apparel and personal care products in establishing retail sales and distribution systems throughout the Middle East, eastern Europe and Latin America. Dennis Wieczorek is chair of the franchise and distribution practice. He has over 25 years’ experience advising on US and international franchising, licensing, antitrust and distribution law matters. He is general counsel to the International Franchise Association. Bret Lowell counsels clients across a range of industries including restaurants and food service, car rental, hotel and motel, health care, financial services, high tech, real estate and retail. Stuart Hershman counsels on the whole spectrum of franchise, dealership and distribution law. He is praised for his “encyclopaedic knowledge” of the field. The “immensely talented” Michael Brennan has advised major retail chains in relation to launching multinational franchise programmes and a major European manufacturing and services group concerning its US market entry strategy.
DLA Piper is our inaugural sports and entertainment law firm of the year. Peter White is global co-chair of the firm’s sports, media and entertainment practice and is located in the New York office. He represents some of the world’s major sports leagues including the National Football League and the Barclays Premier League. He also advises on the financing of sports properties and has been involved in the development and redevelopment of stadiums and arenas for the Yankees, the 49ers and the Giants, among others. Fellow co-chair Nick Fitzpatrick is based in London. He works with a range of media clients from studios to private individuals and has a particular focus on copyright, digital broadcasting, television, sport, film and sponsorship. Senior associate Catherine Beloff is also highly praised. Albert Agustinoy Guilayn coordinates the firm’s gambling group in Spain and provides regulatory, commercial and litigation advice to multinational gambling operators.
DLA Piper was recognised as one of leading firms in our 2013 inaugural pro bono survey. In 2012, the firm donated 191,800 hours to pro bono representing three per cent of its total billed hours. The firm established New Perimeter in 2005, a non-profit organisation through which the firm provides pro bono work in less developed and post-conflict countries. Each year, lawyers at the firm dedicate between 13,000 and 15,000 hours at a value of $6 million to $7 million.
The firm promotes a culture of inclusion where everyone has the opportunity to develop and grow their career. Examples of the firm’s initiatives include “Break into Law” which allows the firm to support young people from under-represented backgrounds in their pursuit of education and career opportunities, a women’s initiative and partnerships with organisations throughout the world to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.
DLA Piper continues to focus on advising clients wherever they do business combining local and international considerations. While global expansion is a key strategy, the firm is committed to maintaining regional practices which it feels gives the firm an understanding of middle-market clients and an insight into the issues facing clients of all sizes.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.