Legal Business Blogs

‘Long-term growth’: Lewis Silkin appoints CMS director of change

Lewis Silkin has appointed Graeme Wood as chief operating officer (COO) from CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, ‘to support long term growth’ at the firm.

The hire comes 18 months after the firm unveiled a new strategy to invest in complementary and related non-legal services, and a plan to grow its employment, immigration and reward practices.

Wood was appointed director of change at Nabarro last February, as that firm looked to release more management time.

Previously, Wood was a senior manager in business services at Linklaters, where he was appointed finance and shared services head in 2013. While there, he set up the firm’s shared services centre in Warsaw.

Wood told Legal Business that the ‘strategy is that rather than growing through combining, which is what many firms are doing, we are focusing more on the particular strengths and deeper the existing relationships and grow from there.’

Wood’s role will be overseeing a large part of the back office support of the firm’s growth and efficiency. ‘A lot of clients are very happy with the legal advice and service they get, but they’re looking for innovation and improvement on how that advice is delivered. My role is to look at those areas moving forward,’ he added.

Ian Jeffery, a partner and Lewis Silkin’s CEO, said that Wood’s expertise in business transformation and management will ‘prove invaluable as we continue to evolve the firm and cement our position as a trusted, innovative legal and commercial advisor for clients.’

Last November, Lewis Silkin represented Addleshaw Goddard’s former head of real estate Mark Haywood after the firm launched arbitration proceedings against him. The action began two years after he left the firm for Nabarro to set up its Manchester office.

In June 2016, Lewis Silkin represented Nissan on an injunction application against pro-Brexit campaign group Vote Leave, after the group used Nissan’s logo in a leaflet.

More recently, in April 2017, Lewis Silkin was appointed to British Telecom’s legal panel, after a delayed review which kicked off last July. The new panel will run for three years until 2020.