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Levine bids for second managing partner term as DLA kicks off election

DLA Piper’s partnership is headed to the polls again for its managing partner election, less than a year after eight partners competed in the firm’s first contested senior partner election in a decade.

Incumbent managing partner and co-chief executive of the global giant, Simon Levine, is standing for re-election. Nominations for candidates close Friday 5 October but if nobody else stands, Levine will be re-elected on 8 October.

If other candidates come forward, hustings will begin on 8 October, with the results of confirmed a month later. The managing partner term will run for four years from the start of next year.

Senior partner Andrew Darwin, who was elected to the position following a contested process in February , commented: ‘The board is pleased that Simon Levine intends to stand for re-election and, having worked closely with him during his first term, is very supportive of Simon continuing for a further four years, while respecting the right for other partners to put themselves up for election.’

Levine (pictured) assumed the top job in 2015 from the man who led the firm’s rapid globalisation over 18 years, Sir Nigel Knowles. DLA was transformed into one of the world’s largest law firms under Knowles watch and his standing down was referred to as the firm’s ‘Sir Alex Ferguson moment’.

In April this year, DLA bounced back from the previous year’s global turnover drop with double-digit percentage growth in net profit. The firm’s global revenue rose to $2.63bn in 2017, up 7% on last year, while the firm added £75.5m to its international LLP’s top line on the back of exchange rate movement – accounting for 69% of the international revenue improvement for the year ending 30 April 2017.

The managing partner election comes following a high-profile senior partner race at DLA earlier this year, sparked by Juan Picón’s shock departure for Latham & Watkins less than two years into his term. Eight partners contested that election, with London trio Darwin, international corporate head Bob Bishop and corporate partner Jon Hayes making the final three.

DLA’s recent history has seen some other high-profile exits following Picón’s departure. Three significant contributors in real estate left this year for McDermott Will & Emery, followed by Anu Balasubramanian, a young private equity partner making a strong impression, to Paul Hastings.

Conversely, the firm recently bolstered its corporate practice with the hires of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer veteran Martin Nelson-Jones to its corporate practice and former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) division head Patrick Rappo from Steptoe & Johnson.