Biglaw, Screw-Ups

DLA Piper Literally Doesn’t Know What Countries Some Of Their Offices Are In

I’ll take landmasses that are not countries for $200, Alex.

We make a little fun of DLA Piper around these parts because the large, global law firm seemingly has offices in every city on Earth. Maybe we shouldn’t be so snarky though. You’ll thank the stars when DLA Panem is there to help you with your complex cross-border transactions between District 12 and District 2.

Seriously, they have offices everywhere.

You’d think that by this point the people who run the part of the DLA Piper website that posts all of these offices would easily win the geography wedge in Trivial Pursuit. But a tipster recently glanced at the DLA website and noted that for all its global reach, the firm seems to have a blind spot when it comes to the African continent.

Oh, they have offices in Africa, it’s just not entirely clear the firm knows where they are….

Just to be clear, since I know we have a lot of readers to who failed sensitivity training, multicultural studies, post-colonial geography, “Africa” is not a country. It’s a continent. There are a lot of countries on that continent, and no, they don’t all look the same.

Traditionally, people give European nations the respect of referring to them by their proper names, even when it’s a piss-ant little country like Belgium. We should do the same with African countries, even if their names don’t roll off a Westernized tongue.

Now, you’d think a law firm that wants to do business in some of these places would understand that, but when the tipster pointed us to DLA Piper’s website, this is what we saw:

Now, I only put two of these cities in their proper countries at first glance: Gaborone, Botswana, and Kigali, Rwanda. I thought Kampala, Uganda was in the Congo, which was stupid of me, and I’d never heard of Port Louis, Mauritius (although it’s not even on the continent — which makes me feel better, and makes DLA Piper look even dumber with its choice of “country” to put this city in). But luckily we live in a world where Google exists, and it shouldn’t have been that hard for DLA Piper to figure out which countries these cities are located in. They figured it out for Belgium:

By the way, in case you are wondering, Antwerp has a population of about 500,000 people, while Kampala holds over 1.5 million people. So there’s that.

What’s perplexing is that DLA Piper is able to correctly place some of its African offices, just not all of them. Accra is in the right country, as are the cities of Nairobi, Durban, and Lusaka (that would be Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia, for those playing along at home; bonus points if you guys can place these countries in the right quadrant of the continent).

Why does DLA Piper tell you its Accra P.O. Box is in Ghana, but makes it look like its Kampala P.O. Box is somewhere in the scary heart of darkness? Who knows? I searched and searched to see if DLA’s Paleozoic offices were correctly placed in “Pangaea,” but I couldn’t find a record. Damn you PT extinction event!

Look, it’s a small thing, and I’m sure after these 500 words, DLA Piper will correct the problem. But it seems like an unnecessarily stupid oversight for a firm that prides itself on having all of these offices in all of these different places. I know Cravath doesn’t have an office in Kigali, but I bet they’d know where it is if they did.

Our Offices [DLA Piper]

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