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New endeavours: Olswang former head of corporate exits after 15 years as firm reveals new C-suite to boost growth

Olswang has had its fair share of departures these last 12 months with its former head of corporate Fabrizio Carpanini the latest to quit the firm, leaving after 15 years of serving the firm to ‘pursue new opportunities’. However, the firm has announced four management appointments in ‘a first and crucial step’ to boost growth.

Carpanini quit the firm after he officially stood down from leading Olswang’s corporate group in February this year and was replaced by senior corporate TMT partner Mark Bertram.

An Olswang spokesperson said: ‘Following some time off to reflect on what he wanted to do next in his career, we can confirm that corporate partner Fabrizio Carpanini will soon be pursuing new opportunities. We thank Fabrizio for his contributions to the firm and wish him well for the future.’

Fabrizio joined Olswang in 2000, and was appointed as the firm’s corporate head and member of the executive committee in 2007. His corporate focus covered finance, private equity deals, cross-border M&A, company and business sales and international joint ventures, with experience of advising both UK and US clients investing in the UK and Continental Europe.

During his tenure at Olswang, Fabrizio spearheaded the international corporate group which this year comprised around 35 partners and generated just under a third of total firm wide revenues in the last financial year. While it has been a year of management and team departures at Olswang, the firm did manage an 8% rise in revenues from £117.6m to £126.7m for the financial year 2014/15, while profits per equity partner held steady at £490,000. The firm also reported a significant improvement in its debt position, with net bank debt standing at £10.1m, down from £22m the year before.

Nonetheless, the firm lost its entire Berlin outpost in May, a 50-strong lawyer team including 14 partners, and which was recently shipped over to US firm Greenberg Traurig as it launched its first office in Germany.

The firm also saw its former private equity head Stephen Rosen leave in March for Cooley while its C-suite has been hit by departures including general counsel Simon Callander and global director of human resources Ffion Griffith.

However, Olswang revealed today replacements for that senior management team as it looked to kick-start a three-year strategy. Neil Morling is joining the firm as its chief financial officer (CFO); partner Stephen Hermer will take on the firm’s general counsel role and act as head of acquisitions; Sarah Tucker who has been promoted to human resources director; while ex-Linklaters Kevin Bye also joins the firm as head of strategic development.

Morling is a blue-chip-trained CFO and spent over seven years as CFO of EC Harris, where he rebuilt the firm’s international finance function, while Hermer has been a partner in Olswang’s corporate group since 1998.

Olswang’s chief executive Paul Stevens said: ‘In the next three years, I intend to promote a growth strategy based on improvement and change to both the business and our legal processes. Strong leadership in the business services teams, combined with strategic lateral hires, will be central to this transformational agenda. These four senior appointments are a first and crucial step in that direction.’