Goldstein to quit Olswang; election imminent

Olswang chief executive Jonathan Goldstein has quit the firm. He will leave at the end of his third three-year term this April to join Olswang client Heron International as joint managing director.

Goldstein, for nine years the public face of Olswang, informed senior management last Monday (29 January) he had to decided to leave. The rest of the partnership was told on Friday (2 February) at the start of Olswang’s scheduled partners’ away day while staff were informed this morning (5 February).

Goldstein is one of the best-known names in the UK legal market. An Olswang partner since 1994, he became chief executive in 1998 aged 31 and has been closely identified with the firm’s rapid growth over the past decade.

Although the media-based firm was synonymous with the dotcom boom, since the collapse of that market Goldstein has spearheaded Olswang’s acquisition strategy that as seen it become a major player in property.

The highest-profile acquisition came in 2003 when it took on most of the property team at the collapsed DJ Freeman. Other property bolt-ons include boutique Kanter Jules and Julian Holy Solicitors.

Former Olswang partner Adrian Bott, now head of corporate at Osborne Clarke, said Goldstein was, “a very talented and entrepreneurial guy who was always going to need something to engage him.”

The shock departure of one of the UK legal market’s highest-profile names will kickstart an election process to find Goldstein’s replacement.

Senior partner Mark Devereux said it was “early days” but that it was possible the firm could look for a candidate from outside the firm.