Olswang‘s once-iconic chief executive Jonathan Goldstein isn’t even out of the door, but already there’s a strong sense the firm has moved on.
Olswang is incredibly keen to shed its upstart image and to be taken seriously as a national and international player. To achieve that it needs more weight abroad, hence the election of former international strategy partner David Stewart as its new managing partner. See story.
The former SJ Berwin litigator is still seen in some quarters as overly aggressive, but arguably that’s a hangover from his days at his former firm. A stint of good old media training has probably helped.
More importantly, the managerial restructuring, effective from 1 May, will give a far wider range of partners a say in the running of their practice areas. It is thought that this was one of the key factors behind Stewart being elected unopposed.
While the firm’s new management triumvirate – Stewart, senior partner Mark Devereux and chief executive Kevin Munslow – are hugely keen to stress how matey they still are with Goldstein (not least because he’s heading off to client Heron International next month), there’s a distinct sense of an era ending in Holborn; and the perceptible undertone that the firm is not sorry.
Then again, it is Olswang we’re talking about. It could just be spin. Couldn’t it?