DLA Piper names new international managing partner

Charles Severs to succeed veteran managing partner Simon Levine at the start of next year

Charles Severs Image courtesy of DLA Piper

DLA Piper has elected Charles Severs as its next international managing partner, effective 1 January 2025.  

Severs, who is based in London, will also serve as global co-CEO alongside New York-based partner Frank Ryan. He succeeds Simon Levine, who is standing down after 10 years to lead DLA Piper’s transformation programme in a new role as strategic innovation partner. 

Severs joined DLA Piper as a partner in 2003 from legacy firm Herbert Smith and since then has taken on a number of leadership roles, including international group head of corporate, managing director for groups, and since 2018, managing director for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. For the past decade he has also been a member of the firm’s executive management team.  

A leading corporate lawyer, Severs’ practice focuses on cross-border M&A for public and private companies, particularly in the tech, media and telecoms sectors. His clients at DLA Piper have included Symphony Technology, Keller Group and language service company SDL, which he advised on its merger with RWS – one of the largest UK tech acquisitions of 2020.  

Jon Hayes, DLA Piper’s senior partner, noted that the firm had increased revenue and profit in every year of Levine’s leadership, and had achieved “stronger profiles across many practice groups, geographies and sectors; recognition for our innovation and for our wider contribution and leadership as a responsible business”. 

DLA Piper International’s LLP accounts, which cover Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, recorded a 13.6% increase in revenue to £1.4bn for the year ending 30 April 2023. The firm as a whole, including its US arm, grew revenue 6.2% in 2022 to $3.68bn against a 15% increase in profit per equity partner to $2.8m. 

Recent highlights for the global firm include the hire of a leading 30-lawyer patents team on the West Coast from Dentons and a 27-lawyer group from US firm Honigmans, in a move that significantly expanded its team of middle market private equity attorneys in Chicago. 

Hayes added: “Charles’s appointment will mark a new chapter in the evolution of the firm. We have always embraced change and look forward with excitement to what Charles will bring to this role.” 

Levine will work with Severs over the next 10 months to help him prepare for his new role, DLA Piper said, and will continue in his current capacity until the end of his term on 31 December.  

Levine commented: “Charles has been an integral part of my management team for the past decade and it will be an honour to pass the baton of DLA Piper’s leadership over to him at the end of the year. Not only is Charles an outstanding lawyer, but his strength lies in his proven ability to lead and also to listen. I have every confidence that Charles is the right person to guide DLA Piper into a bright future.”  

Severs said: “This is an incredibly proud moment for me. I have spent the vast majority of my career at DLA Piper and care passionately about this firm and the people that make us who we are. Simon will be a tough act to follow, and I’m delighted that we will continue to benefit from his vision for innovation. We have an exciting future ahead.” 

Email your news and story ideas to: news@globallegalpost.com