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Levine goes unopposed to win second DLA managing partner term

DLA Piper international managing partner Simon Levine has been re-elected for another four years following an uncontested election.

Levine’s reappointment was confirmed today (8 October) after nominations for any challengers closed on Friday (5 October).

A contested election would have seen hustings begin this week before the managing partner was confirmed a month later.

The firm’s board had said it was pleased Levine (pictured) sought a second term. Earlier this year, eight partners had competed in DLA’s first contested senior partner election in a decade, sparked by Juan Picón’s shock departure for Latham & Watkins less than two years into his term. Firm stalwart Andrew Darwin was ultimately elected senior partner.

On his re-election, Levine commented: ‘DLA Piper is a fantastic firm with ambitious plans for the future. I look forward to continuing to work with Andrew and US leadership to achieve our goals and provide our clients with a high quality service that enables them to deliver, accelerate and grow.’

Darwin commented: ‘The board is pleased that Simon has been re-appointed for a further four years after a successful first term. On a personal level, I am also delighted that we will continue to work together in what has already become an effective team.’

Levine 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.

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.