DLA chief Knowles enjoys “brief chat” with Obama

DLA chief Knowles enjoys Presidential contender Barack Obama received an endorsement from an unexpected quarter last week when he met DLA Piper chief executive Nigel Knowles.

London-based Knowles met the Democratic candidate last week at a cocktail party in Chicago he attended with DLA Piper joint CEO Lee Miller, who is a longstanding Democrat supporter and activist.

Knowles said: “I had the opportunity to have a brief chat with Obama and it was a very great honour. If you take the guy as you find him, he is charismatic and engaging.”

Miller, who is based in Chicago, had a leading role in the Lawyers for Hillary campaign in the US before Obama won the Democractic nomination.

DLA Piper’s chairman of the global board George Mitchell is a former Democratic senator who, in 1996, chaired peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. He joined the firm in 2003.

A spokesperson for DLA Piper said the firm donated money to both main political parties in the US and its lawyers were free to support either organisation.

Knowles would not be drawn on where his political allegiance lay, although he sported a yellow “Obama 08” badge while posing for a photograph with the presidential candidate. But, he said: “From where I sit he is odds-on to be the next president.”