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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Law firm DLA Piper to acquire Liner LLP, which will vacate its LA offices

By Subrina Hudson | July 20, 2017 06:00PM

From left: Roger Meltzer, DLA Piper’s global co-chairman and co-chairman for the Americas, and Stuart Liner, managing partner of Liner LLP (DLA Piper/Liner LLP/Google Maps)

Liner LLP, the law firm guiding Harridge Development Group through the land use process on its $1 billion Crossroads of the World redevelopment is facing its own mega-project – merging with global law firm DLA Piper. 

DLA Piper announced Thursday that it will acquire the Los Angeles-based firm and move 60 Liner lawyers into its Century City office at 2000 Avenue of the Stars and its Downtown L.A. location at 550 S. Hope Street. The merger is expected to close in October. 

Liner currently leases nearly 40,000 square feet of space at 11000 Glendon Avenue in Westwood and 13,000 square feet at the U.S. Bank Tower in DTLA.

The firm’s leases will expire early next year and it will move into DLA Piper’s spaces, according to Stuart Liner, co-founder and managing partner of the firm.

The deal will help strengthen its practice in areas such as M&A, private equity, finance, infrastructure and sports, Liner said. Liner’s partners will have major leadership roles in the Los Angeles offices of DLA, Roger Meltzer, DLA’s global co-chairman and co-chairman for the Americas, said in a statement.

It has a third office in New York, but it’s unclear what will happen to that location. 

Liner, founded in 1996, is well-rooted in the real estate world. It has represented the developers of some of the largest mixed-use properties in the County, including Clarion Partners. The company said there will be no changes to its roster of clients.  

A boutique firm like Liner gains an advantage with a global firm like DLA Piper, Natalia Aranovich of Aranovich Law Firm, who was not involved in the merger, told The Real Deal.

“The business world today, including the real estate investment sector, has become increasingly interconnected globally,” Aranovich said.

Consolidation among law firms is a growing trend, as is the downsizing of law office leases. Over the past year, several L.A. firms have merged with larger companies.  DTLA-based Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett merged with Atlanta firm Freeman Mathis & Gary, for example. New York-based Boies Schiller Flexner merged with DTLA’s Caldwell Leslie & Proctor.

DLA Piper, whose U.S. operation is led by Meltzer and Cameron Jay Rains, said in a statement that the acquisition will make it one of the 15 largest firms in the L.A. market.

DLA Piper operates in more than 40 countries with nearly 4,000 attorneys. Last year, it reported a revenue of $2.5 billion.