Legal Business Blogs

Replacing Stewart: Olswang picks IP partner Paul Stevens as new chief executive

After looking externally for a permanent replacement for former chief executive David Stewart, Olswang has turned internally and elected intellectual property partner Paul Stevens (pictured) to the role.

Stevens officially started in the position yesterday (13 May), taking over from Michael Burdon who took up the role on an interim basis following former chief executive David Stewart’s resignation in October last year. Stewart’s exit came after differences emerged with other management figures over the firm’s strategy, expansion plans sand spending.

Executive search firm Egon Zehnder was brought in to select candidates and a selection committee, comprising five partners and a non-executive director, assessed both internal and external candidates. Stevens, who joined the firm in 1997 and helped found Olswang’s IP practice, was the only recommendation and with the Olwang Board’s endorsement was put to a vote earlier this week.

Stevens, who has been head of the international IP practice since 2013 will have an initial three year term as chief executive and will now appoint a new executive committee.

Stevens said: ‘It is a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with the role of CEO. Olswang has always dared to challenge convention in the service of its clients. I look forward to upholding the values of the firm while thriving on the challenges of the evolving legal market. Comprising such a collaborative group of innovative people, Olswang is well placed to meet those challenges in alignment with our clients’ requirements.’