DLA Piper has announced that Nigel Knowles will step down from the roles of global co-chairman and senior partner on 30 April.
Knowles has worked at the firm for the last 38 years and will retire as a partner on 30 June. He will continue working as a consultant to the global firm.
Global co-CEO Simon Levine said in a statement: “The contribution that Nigel has made to the firm is immeasurable. His vision and leadership over nearly 20 years has played a huge part in the creation of DLA Piper, taking the firm from six UK offices to the global firm it is today.”
An election process will begin immediately at the firm to find a successor for senior partner of the international LLP by the end of March. The successful candidate will be nominated by the international board and Levine and will take up the position on 1 May.
Knowles, who described the creation of DLA as his “proudest achievement”, took up the role as global co-chairman when his predecessor Tony Angel stepped down in 2015. At the same time Knowles was replaced by Levine as the firm’s joint CEO.
In 2009 Knowles became a knight of the realm after being named in the New Year Honours List. He was knighted for services to the City as well as to the legal profession.
Knowles was made managing partner of Yorkshire firm Dibb Lupton Broomhead in 1998 and has overseen a number of significant mergers including the tie-up with US firms Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich in 2004.