International law firm, DLA, announced today that it will integrate wi…

International law firm, DLA, announced today that it will integrate with leading Central and Eastern European law firm, Weiss-Tessbach. The integration is a vital part of a shared vision to become a top 5 European law firm by 2005. This is one of the first integrations between a Western European and Austrian law firm in recent times and marks DLA’s first step into Central and Eastern Europe.

With effect from 1 October Weiss-Tessbach will become part of DLA’s network of offices across Europe and Asia. This follows on from DLA’s successful integrations with firms in Belgium and Spain last year.

Dr Stefan Eder, one of the leading project and finance specialists in Vienna, will continue as Regional Managing Partner of the integrated firm. Weiss-Tessbach, which is one of the top firms in Vienna and celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, has over 80 fee earners including 16 partners. This includes Dr Gerhard Benn-Ibler, who is also President of the Austrian Bar.

Commenting on the integration, Dr Stefan Eder, Weiss-Tessbach, said:
‘We are delighted to join forces with DLA. The integration is a natural step for us and will be of great benefit to our clients. It will bring DLA a wealth of opportunities in new emerging markets and enhance Weiss-Tessbach’s reputation as a full service international law firm in Central and Eastern Europe.’

Nigel Knowles, Managing Partner of DLA, said:
‘This is a great development for DLA and we see ourselves as leading the way ahead of other international law firms, including those in the US. We are determined to realise our vision of becoming a top 5 European law firm, and having a strong presence in Central and Eastern Europe is an essential step on the way to making that happen. Weiss-Tessbach is a market leader in Austria and our clients will benefit greatly from the enhanced local expertise and international reach that a pan-European law firm with our reputation has to offer.’ Following integration, DLA and Weiss-Tessbach will be one of the largest international law firms in the region and both see enormous potential in the Central and Eastern European legal market going forward. Central and Eastern Europe is expected to register significant economic growth, and with the future accession of 10 countries to the EU, the newly integrated firm expects to capitalise on the surge in foreign investment, restructurings and privatisations in the region.

Since the late 1980s, Weiss-Tessbach has steadily established itself as a regional player in the developing Eastern European legal market by adding offices in Budapest, Prague, Bratislava, Zagreb, Salzburg and Sarajevo to its profile. Its areas of expertise include banking and finance, IP, corporate and real estate and the firm has handled some of Eastern Europe’s largest cross-border transactions. These include Croatia’s biggest privatisation to date, where it represented Deutsche Telekom in the privatisation of Hrvatski Telekom.

DLA has achieved excellent results over the past few years and is now in the top 10 in the UK and has a significant presence around the world. Following integration with Weiss-Tessbach, the firm will have over 1,500 fee earners, including more than 360 partners globally. DLA’s international reach is enhanced further by being part of DLA Group, an international association of six leading law firms in Europe and Asia.

In addition to their existing profile in Central and Eastern Europe, Weiss-Tessbach will also work closely with DLA Group member, GÖRG Rechtsanwälte, to develop opportunities in Germany.

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