Sir Nigel Knowles was Global Co-CEO and Managing Partner of DLA Piper for nearly twenty years before becoming Global Co-Chairman on 1 January 2015. DLA Piper is one of the world’s largest global business law firms, with a turnover in excess of US$2.5bn, and lawyers located in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.
Sir Nigel joined the Yorkshire firm, Broomheads, as a trainee in 1978 and quickly moved into the management sphere, becoming Managing Partner in 1996.
Since that time, Sir Nigel has led the firm through a host of successful mergers, expanding from the UK into Continental Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Sir Nigel’s leadership was instrumental in effecting the single largest transatlantic law firm merger in recent history, when DLA integrated with US-based Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP in 2005. In the same year Sir Nigel was named Partner of the Year by Legal Week and DLA Piper was named Global Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards and Law Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards. In 2015, Sir Nigel won the Legal Business Outstanding Individual Achievement Award: 25 Years. He received a knighthood in 2009 in recognition of his services to the legal industry.