New chair of Sheffield City Region LEP is revealed

Sir Nigel Knowles is the new head of the LEP
Sir Nigel Knowles is the new head of the LEP
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A top lawyer has been chosen to lead Sheffield City Region into a new era of control over its own destiny.

Sir Nigel Knowles, co-chair of global law firm DLA Piper, is the new chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

He won the race after a shortlist of four - including former Sheffield MP Richard Caborn - were interviewed over the last two weeks.

DLA Piper’s website states Sir Nigel was the driving force behind the firm’s growth from its UK regional origins to a global business.

It is one of the world’s largest law firms, with 4,000 lawyers in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. It employs 322 at offices in central Sheffield.

He was global co-chief and managing partner for nearly 20 years before becoming global co-chairman on January 1.

He studied law at the University of Sheffield, where he is a visiting professor, and joined Broomhead & Neals as an articled clerk in 1978.

Last month, Chancellor George Osborne announced Sheffield was set to receive £900m over the next 30 years in a second devolution deal. From 2017 the city region will vote for a Mayor who will oversee a range of powers including transport budgets and planning. The mayor will work closely with the LEP, which is made up of leaders from the nine councils in Sheffield City Region and volunteer business people.

Last year, Sheffield LEP received powers and £320m funding under a pioneering devolution deal.