Olswang appoints non-executive directors from Rothschild and BSkyB

Olswang has appointed two big-hitting non-executive directors (NEDs) to its board, bringing its total number of NEDs up to five.

BSkyB Group’s former deputy managing partner David Chance and executive vice chairman of Rothschild Andreas Raffel joined the board today (1 September).

They will sit alongside the existing seven members of the board, which oversees Olswang’s seven-strong executive committee.

It is expected that Chance will contribute to the firm’s TMT sector, with his international experience and industry connections. Having spent five years as BSkyB’s deputy managing director between 1993 and 1998, he is currently chairman of both Swedish media company Modern Time Group and on-demand media service Now TV. He ws previously a NED of both ITV and O2.

Meanwhile, Raffel has been the executive vice chairman of Rothschild since 2008 and holds a number of NED positions across the not-for-profit, education and healthcare industries.

The move is the result of a five-month governance review, which came to a close last April (22 April 2013). In addition to establishing a new eight-person executive committee which launched on 1 May 2013, the firm decided to kick-start the search for some NEDs to join the board.

Olswang’s board also currently features the firm’s senior partner Mark Devereux, board chairman and managing partner for Belgium Dirk Van Liederkerke, and corporate partner Mark Bertram.

They are joined by head of gambling and sport David Zeffman, head of reputation and media litigation Geraldine Proudler, head of European patent litigation Michael Burdon and the firm’s media chief in Germany, Stefan Luetje.

Stephen Rosen, who formerly headed the firm’s private equity and venture capital practice stood down from his spot earlier this year to become Olswang’s UK corporate chief.

Olswang’s seven-member executive committee already hosts three non lawyers – chief operating officer Simon Glynn, global HR director Ffion Griffiths, and general counsel Simon Callander. 

In April, Nabarro appointed its first NED as a board member after taking on former Guardian News & Media director of international and business development, Stella Beaumont (11 April 2014).

The firm followed others including Weightmans (13 March 2014) and Ashurst (29 May 2013), which have added external members to their management boards for the first time during the 2013/14 financial year.