Global firm DLA Piper has elected its Madrid-based corporate partner Juan Picón to take over as senior partner and global co-chairman at the start of May.

He replaces Sir Nigel Knowles, who is retiring as senior partner at the end of April to become a consultant after almost 40 years at the firm.

Picón joined DLA Piper as its managing partner in Spain in 2006 from Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. He was most recently appointed the joint managing director of Europe and the Middle East in 2014. He is also the co-chair of the firm’s Latin America practice. 

Picón said: ‘I firmly believe this is a time of great opportunity for the firm. Our vision is to be the leading global business law firm and our strategy to achieve that is the right one.

‘As a result, our brand and profile grows daily. The firm has an incredible momentum and I believe together, Simon and I, alongside Roger Meltzer and Jay Rains, will guide the firm into the next stage of its development.’

Simon Levine, global co-CEO, said:Not only does Juan’s appointment bring a Continental European perspective into the firm’s leadership team, he also has a very close working relationship with the Americas, a Latin American practice, and I also have the pleasure of calling him my friend.

‘Juan is the ideal candidate for the role and I’m very much looking forward to working ever closer together.’