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Leadership Shake-Up at DLA Piper

02/05/14

Leadership Shake-Up at DLA Piper



Top global Roger Meltzer will become the Global Co-Chairmen of the firm, and Simon Levine and Cameron "Jay" Rains will become Global Co-CEOs of the firm from January 1, 2015.

The appointments of Sir Nigel Knowles and Simon Levine, which seem final, are still subject to approval by members of DLA Piper International LLP. The other two appointments are final with the firm's announcement.

Roger Meltzer and Jay Rains are currently Co-Chairs of the Americas for DLA Piper and they will retain those positions even after assuming their new global leadership roles.

Sir Nigel is currently the managing partner of DLA Piper, and he will continue in that position until April 30, 2015. Simon Levine is the current Co-Managing Director of Groups and Services for the firm, and his term at that position will expire on December 31, 2014.

Roger Meltzer and Sir Nigel Knowles will succeed DLA Piper's current Global Co-Chairs, Tony Angel and Lee I. Miller, and Jay Rains succeeds current Global Co-CEO J. Terence "Terry" O'Malley, all of whom will continue to have important advisory roles as the firm expands and refines its business and operations in practice groups, sectors and geographies. Simon Levine will succeed Sir Nigel.

While the announcement of new leadership positions elevating firm partners to global management roles in the firm's U.S. and international wings were on, the head of DLA Piper's Washington office, Frank "Rusty" Conner III and M&A partner Michael Reed have left the firm to join Covington & Burling.

There is no indication whether Conner and Reed left the firm as a reaction to the finalization of leadership changes, but the media has learned that they gave themselves only one weekend before joining Covington after leaving DLA Piper - which, by any count, is quite abrupt. The removal of their names from the firm website was also very fast and came into effect as soon as they left.

Conner and Reed have worked as a pair and it is known that they have handled more than 300 capital market transactions and have worked on more than 500 transactions with an aggregate deal value in excess of $15 bn.

It is not yet known who is going to replace Conner as head of the firm's Washington office.

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