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Legal services 'must expand to new markets'

Posted by: Laurence Simons 09/09/13

The trend for international law firms to expand their presence in emergent markets is unlikely to abate, potentially meaning more job opportunities will be created in Asia and Africa for ambitious lawyers willing to relocate, according to recent statements from DLA Piper co-chairman Tony Angel.

Mr Angel played a part in one of the most sensational transfers since Darren Byfield's 2004 move to Gillingham when he left former employer Linklaters in 2011 to join his current company, a change which brought him a handsome remuneration package.

Speaking to the Lawyer, the DLA Piper co-chairman pointed to the need for expansion into new markets, noting that global firms are increasingly looking for high-quality and expert legal advice when shifting into a new market.

And given the enduring malaise affecting businesses in many developed countries, it is obvious that a new approach is needed for law firms that want to see a return to the boom years (or at least a step back from the financial abyss many smaller companies are currently scrambling desperately away from).

As the powerful centre-forward Byfield also knows, diversity and a willingness to move into new areas is crucial for law firms (or lower-league footballers) that want to succeed in the modern market.

"There are many areas of the world where we're not present and if you want to be a global firm with the aspirations we have, servicing your clients across a range of practices around the full range of their operations, then we will need to be in a lot more places and a lot stronger in a number of our practices," concluded the co-chairman.

Anglo-American firm DLA Piper has more than 4,200 lawyers across more than 30 countries, and is generally considered the world's largest legal services company in terms of revenue and staff numbers.