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DLA Piper appoints Picon senior partner to replace Knowles

Corporate heavyweight Juan Picon has been appointed DLA Piper‘s next senior partner, replacing longtime leader Sir Nigel Knowles when he retires at the end of April.

Madrid-based Picon, who for the last two years has served as joint managing director for Europe and the Middle East, will become senior partner and global co-chairman of DLA Piper on 1 May 2016. The deadline to enter the race to replace Knowles closed yesterday, with Picon the only candidate.

Picon joined the firm as Spain managing partner in 2006 from legacy firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey and went on to become one of the firm’s biggest billers, strengthening DLA’s relationship with Vodafone after being instructed on its €7.2bn acquisition of Spanish broadband company Ono. Picon is also currently co-chair of the firm’s Latin American practice and has worked alongside the firm’s US arm to lead growth in the region.

Picon said: ‘I firmly believe this is a time of great opportunity for the firm. Our vision is to be the leading global business law firm and our strategy to achieve that is the right one. As a result, our brand and profile grows daily.

Simon Levine, global co-chief executive, added: ‘Juan and I have had a close working relationship ever since we were appointed to the executive in a joint role in 2012. Not only does Juan’s appointment bring a Continental European perspective into the firm’s leadership team, he also has a very close working relationship with the Americas, a Latin American practice, and I also have the pleasure of calling him my friend.’