This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – Franchise, Real Estate
Created in 2005 by the merger of DLA LLP, Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary, DLA Piper LLP has grown considerably in successive years to become a globally integrated firm. The firm has over 4,200 lawyers in over 70 offices spanning the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US. The firm excels in our research, winning the accolades of law firm of the year for its franchise and real estate work. With 119 listings across 27 sections, representing 35 of the firm’s offices, DLA Piper demonstrates its local and international capabilities.
|DLA PIPER LLP|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 119|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Business Crime||5||Oil & Gas||1|
|Corporate Governance||1||Project Finance||3|
|Labour & Employment||4|
Real estate emerges as the firm’s strongest suit, with 25 lawyers featuring in the chapter, 17 of whom are based in US offices. In New York, Martin Polevoy is one of the most highly regarded individuals in the research. Polevoy heads the office’s real estate practice group and his recent matters include representing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as real estate counsel in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. Chair of the US real estate team and co-chair of the global real estate practice, Jay Epstien, based in Washington, DC, specialises in transactions involving urban office buildings, shopping centres and multifamily residential projects. Managing partner of the Dallas office Philip Weller is a “prominent figure” in the market, known for his work on real estate acquisitions and dispositions, finance and development. In San Francisco, Stephen Cowan is an expert in real estate fund formations, bankruptcy and workouts. In the LA office, Michael Meyer focuses on major lease transactions and has an “impressive reputation” in this field. Portia Owen Morrison, in the Chicago office, specialises in commercial real estate development and finance and is “one of the best”. Outside the US, Attie Pretorius at DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in South Africa is the national head of the real estate practice. Major clients include Mia Group of Companies, Development Bank of SA and Vodacom. In Milan, Olaf Schmidt heads the Europe, Middle East and Africa real estate group and a “leading lawyer”, while François De Montpellier in Brussels is “superb”.
The firm’s market-leading showing in the franchise chapter is made up of 15 lawyers; all bar one are based in the US. The firm is also home to our leading franchise lawyer of the year, Philip Zeidman. One of three lawyers based in DC, Zeidman wins the award for the seventh consecutive year in our research, with peers noting his “superb level of expertise” and “business focus”. Alongside him is Erik Wulff, also one of the most highly regarded individuals in the research, advising on global brand expansion for consumer products and service companies. John Dienelt is chair of the franchise litigation group and considered a “leading litigator” in our research. In the Chicago office, two top names appear: Dennis Wieczorek and Stuart Hershman. Wieczorek has over 25 years’ experience in US and international franchising and has appeared as an expert witness in franchise litigation. Hershman is an “excellent counsellor” to companies on franchise and distribution law advising on rebranding, as well as terminating and renewing relationships. The “brilliant” Bret Lowell, located in the Reston office, has represented clients across a broad spectrum of industries, from restaurants to car rental and health-care. Representing the Beijing office, Richard Wageman chairs the China franchise and advertising group specialising in advising a number of international franchisors and advertisers with respect to their activities in China.
Internet and e-commerce emerges as a further strength of the firm with nine lawyers appearing in the chapter. Two lawyers feature from Germany: Jans Geert Meents and Jan Pohle – representing the Munich and Cologne offices respectively. Meents heads the German IP and technology group and is “first rate” at data protection and related IT compliance issues. Pohle is a “trusted adviser” for IT companies helping to draft agreements on complex BPO and IT outsourcing. In Paris, Stéphane Lemarchand heads the office’s IP and technology practice and has extensive experience in international IT outsourcing transactions. Brussels-based Patrick Van Eecke is “best known” for his work advising internet service providers and software developers and is involved in research and consulting projects for the European Commission and several national governments. Mark Radcliffe is located in the East Palo Alto office in the US and specialises in internet licensing and copyright and trademark matters and he is described as “one of the best” in our research.
The firm receives further multiple listings across a range of practice sectors, demonstrating the depth and breadth of expertise it retains across its global network of offices.
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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.