DLA Piper to pull out of Australian capital in latest office closure


DLA Piper is shutting its doors in Canberra, in the latest of a series of closures around the firm’s international network.

The closure, which will take place at the end of the month, will leave DLA with four Australia bases – in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

According to DLA’s website, the firm has two partners, two senior associates and two special counsel in the Australian capital. Earlier this year it was announced that the two partners, Anthony Willis and Caroline Atkins, were leaving to join Australian firm Maddocks.

In a statement, DLA said: “We remain absolutely committed to all our government clients and will continue to provide them with the same level of service from our four Australian offices outside Canberra, as well as through the considerable government contracting expertise of our global sector team. We thank our team in Canberra, and wish them all the best.”

The news comes after the firm announced last month that it is pulling out of Berlin and Georgian capital Tbilisi. The Berlin base has been acquired by DWF, while Dentons will take over the Tbilisi office next month.

DLA first entered Australia in 2006, via an association with local firm Phillips Fox. In 2011, the firm fully merged into DLA’s international partnership, which covers its non-US businesses.

In 2013, UK managing partner Andrew Darwin relocated to Sydney to take up the Australia managing partner role, in what was understood at the time to be a troubleshooting mission. After two years, he was succeeded by former Minter Ellison managing partner John Weber, whose stint in the role also lasted just two years.

The firm’s Australian arm is now led by co-managing partners Jim Holding in Brisbane and Melinda Upton in Sydney.