Olswang takes on finance director

Media firm Olswang has become the latest medium-sized law firm to appoint a full-time finance director. The move reflects rapid expansion at the practice, which boasts a string of technology and communications clients.

Brian Ayres, who has held financial management roles at Mobil and Polaroid, has secured the job. He said: “Olswang has grown to a point where it is now appropriate to bring in outside specialist professional management.

“The legal market has become more competitive and there is a need for firms such as Olswang to become even more commercial in their approach,” he added.

Prior to joining Olswang, Ayres was finance director at City law firm Waltons & Morse. Before that he was at Braxton Associates, the strategic management consultancy practice at Deloitte & Touche.

Ayres, who is on Olswang's executive committee, said his priorities are to put in place financial controls and disciplines that will take account of the firm's growth and prospects.

“The volumes of new business and income levels have never been higher, and this means more rather than less management,” said Ayres.

John Ackerman, managing partner at the firm, said: “Brian will have full responsibility for all the financial aspects of the practice and will work closely with the management team in the implementation of operating and reporting systems.”