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Stephenson Harwood IP co-head replaces CEO Sharon White following decade in charge

Stephenson Harwood partner Eifion Morris (pictured) has been appointed the firm’s new chief executive (CEO), replacing long-standing incumbent Sharon White.

White has been CEO at the firm since 2009, leading Stephenson Harwood for more than a decade after her term was extended by another two years in March 2017. The London-based Morris currently co-leads the firm’s intellectual property group and has been at the firm since 2008. He takes charge as of 1 October.

Stephenson Harwood senior partner, Roland Foord, commented: ‘Stephenson Harwood is a long-standing and successful firm, and I know that Eifion shares the firm’s values and culture, and has the energy and leadership skills to continue to build our business and ensure its success long into the future.’

Morris commented: ‘To have the opportunity to lead Stephenson Harwood is a great privilege and honour. The strength and success of Stephenson Harwood is testament to the firm’s culture, the quality of our lawyers, and their commitment to understanding and supporting our clients in achieving their ambitions.’

White is a lifer at Stephenson Harwood, having first joined the firm in 1988 as an associate in the corporate practice. White also served as head of corporate between 2007 and 2013.

Morris will take the helm during a period of indifferent financial performance at the firm, with revenue rises not matched by increases to profit per equity partner (PEP). The firm’s last financial results showed a 6% lift in turnover to £189m, however PEP shrunk 6% to £664,000. In the previous year revenue was up 11% but PEP fell by 9%.

Meanwhile, last October the firm hired veteran Singapore-based duo John Simpson and Martin Brown from the struggling Ince & Co. Brown took up his position in November of last year, while, Simpson is set to start 1 May.