13 June 2011

Senator George J. Mitchell returns to DLA Piper as Chairman Emeritus

DLA Piper announced today that Senator George J. Mitchell, the former US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under the Obama administration, former Senate Majority Leader, and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company, returns to DLA Piper as Chairman Emeritus and as ex officio member of the firm’s Global Board.

In his new role, Senator Mitchell will work with firm leaders on global client development and management, as well as important strategic initiatives such as succession planning. He will also advise on significant arbitration and mediation projects.

“Senator Mitchell is known for being among the greatest public servants of our time, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the firm,” said Francis B. Burch, Jr., Chairman of DLA Piper. “He will be instrumental in driving the firm’s continued global integration and multidisciplinary approach to client service in each of our 76 offices.”

“There is no one better than Senator Mitchell to anticipate and comprehend the evolving global climate and its impact on our clients,” said Sir Nigel Knowles, joint Chief Executive Officer of DLA Piper. “His wisdom and sound judgment transcend cultural business practices and nuances.”

Senator Mitchell served as partner and chairman of the Global Board of DLA Piper from 2003 through 2008. He also served as chairman of the Board of the Walt Disney Company from 2004 to 2006. He left DLA Piper in January 2009, upon being appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

Prior to DLA Piper, Senator Mitchell enjoyed an illustrious career in the Senate that spanned 14 years. During his tenure, Senator Mitchell earned enormous cross-party support. For six consecutive years he was voted “the most respected member” of the Senate by a bi-partisan group of senior congressional aides. Mitchell was instrumental in leading the passage of the North American Free Trade Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Clean Air Act of 1990.

Senator Mitchell has earned a reputation as a diplomat whose gentle, thoughtful nature helped negotiate and resolve the world's most complex disputes. In 1996, the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland asked Senator Mitchell to chair the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. The negotiations lasted for two years, ultimately resulting in a historic accord that ended decades of violent conflict. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour the US government can give, and he was nominated for a Nobel Prize.

“The firm has achieved impressive international expansion in the two-and-half years since I’ve left,” said Senator Mitchell. “I am eager to return to work with the outstanding global lawyers at DLA Piper, and it will be rewarding to collaborate with them on future strategies and goals.”

Born and raised in Waterville, Maine, Senator Mitchell attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine. Following his graduation, he was stationed in Berlin, Germany as an officer in the US Army Counter-Intelligence Corps. Senator Mitchell attended Georgetown University Law Center, served as a trial attorney in the US Department of Justice, and served as a United States Attorney and as a United States District Judge for Maine.

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