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March 14, 2011 2:44 PM

Nine Lawyers Quit DLA's Australian Merger Partner

Posted by Irene Plagianos

Nine Brisbane-based lawyers are leaving DLA Piper's alliance partner in Australia, ahead of the two firms' planned merger on May 1, sister publication Legal Week reports.

DLA Piper confirmed to Legal Week that the group of partners is departing DLA Phillips Fox to join Australian firm Thomsons Lawyers.

"I'm assuming that this small number of partners would prefer to be part of a smaller domestic firm and have decided to use this opportunity to rebase themselves. We wish them the best of luck for the future," Nigel Knowles, DLA Piper joint chief executive and managing partner, told Legal Week.

The departing lawyers include corporate partners Philip Byrnes, James Daniel, Philip Dowling, and Eugene Fung; real estate partners Ron Eames, Michael Marshall, and Chris O'Shea; finance partner Andrew Kelly and intellectual property partner Tony Conaghan.

As The Am Law Daily previously reported, DLA Piper announced its merger plans with its alliance partner in January. The tie-up will give DLA a much larger presence in the Asia Pacific region and would position the firm to be the world’s largest with almost 4,000 lawyers.

Partners voted in favor of the full merger in February. The firms have had an exclusive alliance since 2006.

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