DLA’s Knowles: Obama will achieve a great deal in second term

DLA Piper’s co-chief executive Sir Nigel Knowles has spoken of his hope that Barack Obama will use his second term to build consensus among the American people.

President Obama, Nigel Knowles
President Obama, Nigel Knowles

Democratic candidate – and incumbent – Obama won the presidential race early this morning UK time, winning 303 electoral votes to Republican rival Mitt Romney’s 206.

Having met Obama at a cocktail party in Chicago – home of DLA Piper’s US headquarters – during the 2008 presidential campaign (20 October 2008), Knowles spoke at the time of how “charismatic and engaging” Obama was.

Today, when asked by The Lawyer, Knowles said that “on a personal level” he likes and rates Obama, adding: “President Obama was never going to be able to complete his agenda in one term, and the American people have given him a second term. I hope he also looks to bring the American people together and build some consensus.

“He’s a clever man, has emotional intelligence and can still achieve a great deal.”

DLA Piper had strong links with the first Obama administration, with partner and global board chairman emeritus George Mitchell serving as its Middle East peace envoy from January 2009 to May 2011 (22 January 2009).

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that DLA Piper’s employees and political action committees (PACs) combined to become Obama’s 11th largest donor in the latest campaign, giving $393,102 (7 November 2012). DLA Piper was also the fifth largest lawyer/law firm contributor in terms of donations to both parties and outside spending groups for the 2012 elections, with employees and PACs giving $1,656,895.