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Olswang Chief Talks About Planned Growth & Possible Outside Investment

Posted Mar 2, 2010 1:06 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Meet David Stewart, managing partner of London-based Olswang. Unhappy with the firm's flat revenue over the past year, he nonetheless expects to see significant growth, both at home and internationally, of his now 650-attorney firm, according to the Law Central blog of the London Times.

He credits "exceptionally talented nonlawyers" at the helm of the firm's operational teams for much of Olswang's success, and says the firm has done well in running itself like a corporation rather than a traditional law partnership. Reducing headcount to maintain an acceptable level of profits during the dismal global economy of 2008-2009, however, was his hardest decision as managing partner.

Olswang is now looking to expand its corporate technology practice in Europe, Stewart tells the Times. It also is open to the possibility of outside investment in the firm by nonattorneys, which British law is being changed to permit. However, it isn't yet clear how outside money might optimally be used to help larger commercial firms accelerate their growth and develop what Stewart refers to as new remuneration models.

"We are exploring a number of options related to these opportunities," he tells the newspaper. "Whatever we do, we will continue to be driven by the need to make sure that the end result enables us to produce better value for our clients and a better level of service."

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