Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Freshfields hire to leave DWF managed services role after less than a year

DWF’s New Law credentials have been dealt a blow as its managed services chief executive is set to leave the firm less than a year after his arrival in the first major exit since the firm completed its IPO in March.

Anup Kollanethu was initially hired from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he led the Magic Circle firm’s Manchester office for over three years and established himself as a well-regarded chief of business operations.

But Kollanethu is now set to be replaced by Mark St John Qualter, who will assume the role of chief executive of DWF’s managed services division after joining from RBS. At RBS St John Qualter headed the artificial intelligence arm of the bank’s commercial and private banking business. Kollanethu will remain at DWF throughout the transition period.

Kollanethu arrived at DWF with a strong reputation, having overseen Freshfields’ combined legal and business services centre in Manchester. The hub opened as part of the firm’s 2015 shake-up which saw the mass relocation of support roles to the north of the country.

In March DWF completed its much-anticipated listing with a £95m IPO, becoming the UK’s largest listed law firm. Subsequently the firm made its first post-IPO splash with a £3m Warsaw office acquisition in May, bringing K&L Gates’ 11-partner team into the fold. The managed services division at DWF remains one of the fastest-growing areas of the firm’s business.

In a statement, DWF said: ‘Anup Kollanethu, the current CEO of managed services, has been instrumental in establishing DWF’s managed services offering. Anup has decided to leave DWF and we wish him every success with his future.’