Olswang elects IP head Stevens as new CEO

Olswang has elected Paul Stevens as its new CEO to succeed interim CEO Michael Burdon with immediate effect.

Stevens, whose initial term will be three years, joined Olswang in 1997. He was one of the two founding partners of Olswang’s IP team and has been leading the IP practice group since 2013.

He was named in The Lawyer Hot 100 last year for his work protecting rights holders (13 January 2014).

paul stevens olswang
Paul Stevens

Stevens is expected to appoint a new executive committee in due course.

His appointment follows the departure of former CEO David Stewart last year (6 October 2014). He left the firm a few weeks later (28 October 2014).

Olswang had widened its search for a permanent CEO to include non-lawyers (23 March 2015), with the firm using executive search firm Egon Zehnder to select candidates for the position. 

Olswang board chair Dirk Van Liedekerke, who led the recruitment process, said both internal and external candidates had been assessed using the same criteria and Stevens had been appointed through a partnership vote in a “very high turnout election”.