11KBW ponders future of CEO role as incumbent exits

11KBW’s first-ever chief executive David Stead is leaving the set to head up the fundraising side of Charities Aid Foundation.

Stead became 11KBW’s first chief executive in January 2012, his first appointment at the bar having spent much of his career working in professional services (16 January 2012). He was brought in from Gill Jennings & Every where he was director of marketing and business development.

The set said it was now considering the future structure of its management arrangements, meaning it is not immediately looking for a replacement. 

Stead’s exit comes weeks after Devereux Chambers’ first-ever chief executive Beverly Landais resigned (2 October 2013). She joined chambers in 2009 (21 May 2009) when a number of sets considered whether to install chief executives to drive though commercialisation at the bar – Landais was appointed as both Quadrant Chambers (1 June 2009) and St Philips created chief executive positions (15 June 2009).

At the same time Hardwicke hired Amanda Illing from Matrix to drive through a structural change, a move that coincided with the exits of then senior clerks Danny O’Brien and Kevin Mitchell (21 September 2009). 

When Stead joined 11KBW, silk Daniel Stillitz QC told The Lawyer that the decision to appoint a chief executive was taken because the set had reached a size where it needed a chief executive to help it operate in an “optimal way”.

Meanwhile Stead said at the time that his priority was to build a “roadmap” for chambers development over the next three years, working in tandem with members and the clerking team, which is lead by Lucy Barbet and Mark Dann. 

A source said the “primary task” for which Stead was engaged had been “duly fulfilled.”

Stead’s last day at 11KBW was on Friday (25 October). He is understood to be taking up the new role in December, taking on the title of director of philanthropy.