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17 March 2020

DLA Piper hires six lawyers from McMillan in Vancouver to expand its startups focus

Global firm targets city's burgeoning startup sector as it also makes key private equity hires in New York

By Ben Edwards

Pic of Vancouver

Vancouver: DLA Piper is positioning itself to service thriving startup tech sector Shutterstock

DLA Piper has boosted its Canada startups, emerging companies and technology practice having added six lawyers to its Vancouver office since the start of the year.

Ryan Black and Mike Reid have joined as partners and co-chairs of the practice, arriving from national Canadian law firm McMillan. They are followed by former McMillan colleagues Morgan McDonald, Tyson Gratton, Maneesha Dakha and Becky Rock. 

The move sees the firm positioning itself to take advantage of Vancouver's status as a major and fast-growing tech hub with a workforce of around 75,000 people generating an estimated $16bn in revenue

Robert Seidel QC, DLA Piper Canada’s managing partner, said the firm was looking to grow its capability to advise clients ‘in all stages of their businesses’. 

He added: “The recent additions to our Vancouver office offer a unique opportunity for exponential growth in the provision of key legal services to a roster of clients in the most innovative and forward looking sectors.”

Black specialises in technology-related corporate law, focusing on consumer-facing tech companies such as social media, video games and other online platforms. He spent almost 15 years at McMillan, most recently serving as chief technology partner and co-chair of its video games and e-sports business.

Reid served for almost a decade at McMillan, where he was partner and co-chair of its startups and emerging companies practice. McDonald joins as counsel from McMillan, where she spent more than seven years, most recently as partner. Gratton, Dakha and Rock all join as associates.

In February, DLA Piper launched an international cannabis practice based out of Canada and the UK as it seeks to target a growing $50bn global market.

Meanwhile, DLA Piper’s New York office has hired a trio of private equity partners from Winston & Strawn to bulk up its buyout advisory capabilities. James Kelly has been appointed head of the firm’s New York private equity practice, and is joined by Ilya Bubel and Peter Alfano. Kelly and Bubel will sit in the corporate practice and Alfano in finance.

Joe Alexander, global co-chair of DLA Piper’s corporate and private equity practices, said: “The addition of this team increases our share of the middle-market private equity space. Their transactional skills will augment the firm’s global corporate platform and will enhance our capabilities in the New York market.”

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