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April 4, 2011 6:52 PM

DLA Hiring Spree Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

Posted by Brian Baxter

DLA Piper continues to expand through a healthy pace of lateral hiring. The firm announced three groups of hires in recent days, adding 12 lawyers, nine of them partners, to its payroll.

On Monday, DLA announced that it added a four-lawyer labor and employment team from Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Chicago. Michael Sheehan, Rachel Cowen, and Terence Smith come to DLA as partners, while P. Kevin Connelly will join the firm as of counsel.

Sheehan, who had joined Paul Hastings in February 2010 from Drinker Biddle & Reath, will become the new global cochair of DLA's labor and employment group. Sheehan cofounded employment boutique Connelly Sheehan Harris, which was acquired by Drinker Biddle in November 2007. All four lawyers had previously practiced together at Connelly Sheehan.

The Daily Business Review, a sibling publication, also reported on Monday that DLA has picked up five lawyers in Miami from Hunton & Williams. The hires include Craig Rasile, the former cochair of Hunton's bankruptcy and restructuring practice. Rasile, who had a role in the Fontainebleau bankruptcy battle, will become the managing partner of DLA's new Miami office. DLA opened an office in the city in February after poaching two partners from Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.

Joining Rasile at DLA are Carlos Loumiet, the former cochair of Hunton's international practice group; corporate partner John Haley; tax partner Michael Silva; and bankruptcy partner Andrew Zaron. (The DBR notes Loumiet has made headlines in the past through his role advising now-defunct Hamilton Bank; we've previously reported on Loumiet and Greenberg Traurig's role advising former client and alleged Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford.)

Finally, late last week DLA hired three lawyers from Reed Smith in Dubai, according to U.K. publication Legal Week. Joining the firm are partner Sean Angle and senior associates Tim Watkins and Diwakir Agarwal.

Legal Week reports that Angle served as the head of Reed Smith's corporate operations in the Middle East. He had previously founded legacy firm Richards Butler's Dubai office in 2006, after being recruited from British firm Trowers & Hamlins. DLA has been looking to bolster its Dubai office after reducing its presence in the Persian Gulf emirate during the economic downturn, according to Legal Week.

While DLA trimmed from its payroll an undisclosed number of staffers from its 26 offices in the U.S. as recently as last November, the firm has kicked off 2011 with an acquisition spree.

In January, the firm merged with Australian alliance partner DLA Phillips Fox to become the world's largest law firm, with 4,000 lawyers under its mantle. DLA established an alliance with Venezuelan firm InterJuris Abogados in Caracas in February, and the following month opened an office in Delaware by hiring ten lawyers from Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. DLA has also reportedly been kicking the tires on a Canadian merger partner.

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