Olswang planning head goes independent

Olswang’s head of planning Richard Max is leaving to set up his own firm, opening the door for DJ Freeman’s head of planning Karen Howard to take over the reins.

Ironically, Max was DJ Freeman’s head of planning prior to Howard. However, his decision to leave Olswang was made before the announcement of his former colleague’s imminent arrival.

The new firm, Richard Max & Co, will offer specialist planning, compulsory purchase and highways advice.

“I think it will be the first specialist niche planning firm in London,” said Max.

Max, a solicitor-advocate, is currently advising Capital & Provident in connection with redeveloping Canary Wharf. He is also advising London & Associated Properties on ongoing compulsory purchase order aspects of sites in Bradford.

The firm will be based in Central London, with Max currently in negotiations for some space. He will leave the group at the end of April, the same time that the DJ Freeman team will arrive. He will not be taking any other fee-earners with him.