The FINANCIAL — Ted Jonas the Managing Partner of DLA Piper’s Tbilisi office says the company had a large decrease in business in September and October, but this has almost fully recovered and the DLA expects to make budget for the year. Company said it will be more conservative about all kinds of spending in 2009.
In September interview with FINANCIAL Ted Jonas said the brief war in Georgia that broke out with Russia was long in coming, even though it surprised everyone when it happened.
“But the causes had been simmering for several years. Prior to the war, the Georgian economy was hot, and for good reason: under-priced assets, a strategic geographical position, a central transit corridor, a highly trained and intelligent work force, low labor costs. These fundamental drivers of Georgian economic growth remain unaffected by the war, and indeed the war barely interrupted investment into Georgia from currently cash rich economies such as the Emirates and India”.
DLA Tbilisi office has not dismissed any of its employees. “We have brought in new lawyers, such as English solicitor Nick Keen, to replace departing attorneys. But we are taking a more conservative view towards growth”.
Mr. Jonas words “company’s strategy is to continue to increase our staff resources, physical and intellectual capacity to better serve our clients”.
“Our main objective is to hold steady in what will undoubtedly be an economically challenging year, to continue to improve quality, and if circumstances allow it, to continue to grow”, Jonas said.
“As a law firm, we are ready to serve, and indeed are serving, as legal counsel to Georgian companies, foreign investors and international financial institutions that are undertaking new transactions as a result of the increased assistance of the international financial institutions to Georgia”.
Mr. Jonas says DLA has always had CSR projects. “We work on any CSR matter for as long as our assistance is needed. We have several CSR projects active in the firm at any given time. When one is over we tend to replace it with another”.
“Our CSR activities are across many spheres, as you can see from the list above — humanitarian assistance, human rights, microfinance, poor individuals who need help”.
”DLA participated in the charity projects: Urgent Aid Fund Charity House "The Way of the Future", Support to distinguished people from arts and various spheres but with lack of means of subsistence; PM's new initiative 'Honorable Start' – Financial support to the families with a very law income; TBC Fund for Victims – We have made a contribution; American Friends of Georgia – We are participating in AFG project to support IDP centers and street children; We are supporting Tbilisi State University team to participate in the International Moot Courts”
“For us, CSR means contributing to the community in which we live, through charitable activities and pro bono legal work.”
“We also express CSR by being ethical in business, and as a law firm this is required of us by the various attorney licensing laws applicable to us — the Georgian Law on Advocates, the Bar Rules of U.S. state jurisdictions in which DLA Piper attorneys are licensed, and the solicitors rules of the UK (Law Society Rules)”.