DLA Piper is a multinational law firm located in more than 40
countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and
the Middle East. In 2014 it had total revenues of US$2.48 billion
and average profit per equity partner of US$1.490 million, and was
the third largest law firm in the United States as measured by
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
1.2 Piper Rudnick and American predecessor firms
1.3 2005 to 2010
1.4 2010 to present
3 Political contributions
5 Notable attorneys, advisors and staff
6 Notable alumni
8 External links
DLA Piper's origins can be traced back to Thomas Townend Dibb
(1807–1875) and Sir
Charles Lupton OBE (1855–1935).
In the reception foyer of
DLA Piper (
Leeds office) a Victorian bust of
Thomas Townend Dibb
Thomas Townend Dibb is displayed as the founder of the firm. He was
born in Leeds, in 1807, the son of a physician. He was educated at
Leeds Grammar School
Leeds Grammar School and qualified in 1829. He then became a partner
of Atkinson Bolland & Atkinson, a well established practice at
that time and with record of its existence from 1764. DLA can trace
Yorkshire roots back to 1764, when the firm of Barnard &
Bolland was established in Leeds. The newly qualified Thomas Dibb
became a partner at Barnard & Bolland and added his name in 1829.
The three-letter abbreviation used by the firm today - DLA - conceals
a complex history of consolidation and name changes. It picked up
Lupton, from Nelson Eddison & Lupton in 1920. The firm merged with
Broomhead of Sheffield in 1988. The name of the firm as Dibb Lupton
& Co. survived intact until the merger with Broomheads of
Sheffield in 1988. Following the link with Alsop Wilkinson in 1996,
the firm was then known as Dibb Lupton Alsop until around the year
2000, when the name was shortened to DLA. It is now known
internationally as DLA Piper, the largest law firm (by revenue) in the
Charles Lupton had been educated at
Rugby school and then Trinity
College, Cambridge. He qualified as a solicitor in 1881, practising
mainly at Dibb & Co., later Dibb Lupton in
Leeds and also Nelson
Eddison & Lupton.  Lupton was the Lord Mayor of Leeds
in 1915–16. His portrait was painted by royal portraitist Sir Oswald
Birley and his wife, Katharine Lupton (née Ashton) - a former Leeds
Lady Mayoress -  was the sister of Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton
of Hyde. Lupton is the great great granduncle of Catherine, Duchess of
Lupton's son was Captain Charles Roger Lupton, the World War I flying
Dibb had no children. The
Yorkshire Obituary of June 1875 defines Dibb
as "one of the most influential men in the borough, and for long
period the firm, of which he in the course of time rose to be the
chief, has had an influential and extensive practice."
Piper Rudnick and American predecessor firms
Piper Rudnick was the result of a 1999 merger between the
Baltimore-based Piper & Marbury and Chicago-based Rudnick &
Wolfe. At the time, the merger was the largest law firm merger in
history. The combined firm was known as Piper Marbury Rudnick
& Wolfe LLP until April 2002, when the firm shortened its name to
Piper Rudnick LLP.
Piper Rudnick acquired the
Washington, D.C. based lobbying firm of
Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand in September 2002.
2005 to 2010
In July 2004 UK-based law firm DLA LLP and Baltimore-based law firm
Piper Rudnick announced their intention to merge on 1 January
2005. DLA had been the result of a mid-1990s merger between
three UK firms, Dibb Lupton Broomhead, Alsop Stevens, and Wilkinson
Piper Rudnick agreed to merge with San Diego-based law firm Gray Cary
Ware & Freidenrich LLP in October 2004, forming a firm with around
1,300 lawyers and 20 offices across the United States. In December
2004 DLA LLP, Gray Cary and Piper Rudnick, the latter two of which had
yet to complete their merger, announced that the partners of each firm
had approved a three-way merger. The merger became effective
on 1 January 2005 and the new firm was named
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray
Cary. The merger was structured in the form of two limited
DLA Piper International LLP, and
DLA Piper US
LLP (since renamed to
DLA Piper LLP (US)), which share a single
management board but are not financially integrated.
In July 2005
DLA Piper acquired EY Law's 87 lawyer operation in the
Commonwealth of Independent States, including offices in Moscow and St
Petersburg. In December 2005
DLA Piper opened an office in
Beijing, having recruited a team of lawyers from the Beijing office of
In January 2006
DLA Piper opened its first office in the Middle East,
in Dubai. The firm has since opened offices in Abu Dhabi, Cairo,
Doha, Kuwait City, Manama, Muscat,
Riyadh and Jeddah. On 1 September
2006 the firm shortened its name to DLA Piper.
DLA Piper merged
with its Norway-based alliance firm DLA Nordic in the same month,
and formed an alliance with the Australia-based law firm Phillips Fox
in November 2006, with Phillips Fox rebranding as DLA Phillips Fox at
DLA Piper opened offices in Munich, Germany and Warsaw, Poland in
2010 to present
In February 2010
DLA Piper formed an alliance with the Turkish law
firm Yüksel Karkın Küçük until 2014. In March 2010 DLA
Piper formed an alliance with the Brazil-based law firm Campos Mello
In January 2011
DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox announced their
intention to merge. The merger was approved by partners of
both firms in February and was completed on 1 May, when DLA Phillips
Fox become part of
DLA Piper International LLP. Later in the same
month DLA Phillips Fox's former New Zealand-based offices separated to
form an independent firm.
DLA Piper formed an alliance with
Venezuela-based law firm InterJuris Abogados in February 2011, which
subsequently renamed as DLA Interjuris. In 2016, the Venezuelan
firm exited the alliance with
DLA Piper and reverted to operating
under the name of InterJuris Abogados.
In February 2012
DLA Piper opened an office in Mexico City, having
recruited a team from Thompson & Knight's office in the city.
In January 2013
DLA Piper announced the closure of its Glasgow
office and the sale of its Manchester- and Sheffield-based
defendant insurance practices to Hill Dickinson.
Also in January 2013,
DLA Piper opened an office in
Seoul in South
On 2 March 2015, DLA Phillips Fox New Zealand became
DLA Piper New
On 17 April 2015, Canadian law firm Davis LLP became DLA Piper
On 13 October 2015,
DLA Piper announced the opening of an office in
Casablanca in Morocco.
On 1 November 2016,
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP combined with Dimock
Stratton LLP and will operate under the
DLA Piper name.
An office opened in Johannesburg in January 2016.
The Danish firm LETT and the Portuguese firm ABBC joined DLA Piper
in March 2017 which made
DLA Piper the largest law firm in the Nordic
region, with offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and
DLA Piper has no offices in Iceland).
In late June 2017,
The New York Times
The New York Times reported the firm had been hit
in the ransomware cyberattack which infected their network. No
information was compromised or lost.  As of June 2017, the law
firm was struggling to uncover from "vicious computer attacks" from
the week before. 
In October 2017,
DLA Piper to work on its security
breach case in Washington, D.C..
DLA Piper is a polycentric firm with over 80 offices in more than 40
countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Australasia, Europe,
Africa and the Middle East:
DLA Piper was the twelfth-largest donor to President Barack Obama's
2012 re-election campaign. According to the Center for Responsive
DLA Piper was one of the top law firms contributing to
federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle, donating $2.19
million, 73% to Democrats. By comparison, during that same period
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld donated $2.56 million, 66% to
Democrats, while oil conglomerate
ExxonMobil donated $2.66
million, 88% to Republicans. Since 1990,
DLA Piper has contributed
$16.97 million to federal campaigns, and spent over $1 million on
lobbying since 2002.
As of 2014 it was the fifth largest donor to potential presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton.
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. Zuckerberg and
Facebook responded that, while Ceglia had hired Zuckerberg to work on
an unrelated site, 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." Ceglia's document was later, in fact, 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." The suit was later
Notable attorneys, advisors and staff
US Senator George Mitchell was DLA Piper's chairman between
2003 and 2009. As of 2012, he is Chairman Emeritus.
Michael Castle, former Governor of Delaware, has been a partner at DLA
Piper since 2011.
Timothy Clement-Jones, Baron Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrat Peer and
former spokesman for the Creative Industries in the House of Lords.
Nigel Knowles was Managing Partner from 1996 to 2015 and Global
Co-Chairman from 2015 to 2016.
James Blanchard, former
Governor of Michigan
Governor of Michigan and former U.S.
Ambassador to Canada, has been Partner since 1996.
José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, has been Senior
Adviser to DLA Piper’s Global Board since 2013.
Ray LaHood, former secretary of the Department of Transportation, has
been Senior Policy Adviser since 2014.
Bart Chilton, former US Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner, was
Senior Policy Adviser from 2014 to 2017.
Saxby Chambliss, former US Senator, has been Partner since 2015.
Dick Armey, former U.S. Representative from Texas' 26th congressional
district (1985–2003) and House Majority Leader (1995–2003).
Rudi M. Brewster, former Judge of the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California
Peter Bynoe, attorney and businessman who co-owned the Denver Nuggets
(along with Bertram Lee, first black owner of NBA team)
Tom Daschle, a former
US Senator and US Senate Majority Leader, was
Policy Adviser at
DLA Piper from December 2009 to October
Steven J. Davis, earth system scientist at the University of
Jared Genser, international human rights attorney
Miriam González Durántez, wife of former Deputy Prime Minister of
the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg, was a partner at
DLA Piper from 2006
A. B. Krongard, former Executive Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency and former Chairman and CEO of Alex. Brown & Sons
Jonathan Lisle, British D.J.
Harry Cummings McPherson, Jr., author, attorney and policymaker who
served as counsel and special counsel to President of the United
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson from 1965 to 1969, Johnson’s chief
speechwriter from 1966 to 1969.
Paul Victor Niemeyer, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for
the Fourth Circuit and a former United States District Judge of the
United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
Thomas C. Wheeler, a Judge of the United States Court of Federal
Nick Helmer Jr., General Counsel for Friedman Properties, Ltd.
Mel Martinez became a Partner and lobbyist for
DLA Piper after
retiring as a U.S. Senator from Florida in 2009, then left in
August 2010 to advise Chase Bank and later its parent company J.P.
Morgan Chase & Co. He also co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy
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^ "Phillips Fox Vietnam opts for AAR tie-up". The Lawyer. 6 November
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^ "DLA Phillips Fox in divorce from New Zealand arm". The Lawyer. 3
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DLA Piper launches in
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24 June 2013.
DLA Piper launches on the ground in Africa with two new offices".
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DLA Piper to merge with Dimock Stratton and other legal moves and
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DLA Piper swoops
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^ "Abrupt Turn as
Facebook Battles Suit". The New York Times. 17 April
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^ "Fight Over
Facebook Origins Escalates". The Wall Street Journal. 13
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Facebook Sues Lawyers of Discredited "Co-Founder" Paul Ceglia".
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Retrieved November 18, 2011. Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing
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