14 October 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, legal, attorney, law firm news -DLA Chairman and senior partner Roger Lane-Smith is to step down after 27 years with the firm he helped to establish.
Lane-Smith, who has served almost seven years as senior partner, has been a driving force at the firm since its early days and is widely credited with setting its strategy to become a full service business law firm with national and global reach. In 1977, Lane-Smith set up Lee Lane-Smith with London-based lawyer Stanley Lee.
The firm operated in Manchester and London. A series of mergers then followed with firms based in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Yorkshire and Birmingham to create Dibb Lupton Alsop in 1996, one of Britain’s first nationally represented law firms. Lane-Smith’s leadership and influence has helped DLA to maintain a focused strategic approach and the firm is now ranked 7th in the UK’s top ten and has a significant presence across mainland Europe and Asia.
During his time at the firm Lane-Smith spearheaded the firm’s growth in the Far East. DLA now has a significant office in Hong Kong and is also expanding in Singapore, Shanghai and Bangkok.
Although Lane-Smith will step down in April, he will continue to act as a consultant for DLA. He will also focus on non executive directorships and intends to add to his current portfolio of public and large private company board appointments.
Lane-Smith said: “During my time as senior partner DLA has developed into a full service European firm with a significant presence in Asia and billings in excess of £300m. The firm is continuing its expansion and is on the cusp of becoming a truly global player.
“DLA is in robust financial health and therefore I feel confident that I may step down as senior partner next April knowing that a huge amount as been achieved and the firm has a positive global future. I have spent a total of 27 years in management and that is probably enough for anyone, it is time to hand the gauntlet to the next generation.”
DLA Managing Partner Nigel Knowles said: “I have been in discussions with Roger since April over his decision to step down and understand that after 27 years in management he is keen for others to carry on the good work he started.
“As senior partner Roger has made a massive contribution to shaping DLA and the legal profession and will continue to do so in his role as consultant to the firm. I have had enormous enjoyment out of working with Roger and personally thank him for everything he’s done and from which the firm has benefited so much. He is a larger than life character and his presence will continue to be felt.”