11KBW follows bar trend by installing first-ever chief executive

11KBW has appointed its first chief executive with the hire of David Stead, currently director of marketing and business development at patent attornies Gill Jennings & Every.

It is Stead’s first appointment at the bar, having spent much of his career working in professional services. 11KBW silk Daniel Stillitz QC, who sits on the chambers’ management board, said 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”.

He added: “He’ll help develop the strategy of chambers. It’s a natural progression for us as we grow in size.”

Stead said his priority would be 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 Philip Monham and Lucy Barbet.

“The chief executive role is a combination of being external facing, building a client base and a brand. Internally it’s about helping barristers build their profile while working closely with the clerks,” he said.

It comes as the bar undergoes some radical changes as a result of the Legal Services Act, the Jackson reforms and legal aid cuts. Stead commented: “The bar’s changing. There are new rules and new structures; we need to know which are real and what’s without doubt a distraction. Chambers have to start seeing themselves as SMEs.”

Cornerstone Chambers, formerly 2-3 Gray’s Inn Square, has also appointed a chief executive, bringing in Blake Lapthorn London senior partner Warren Foot to succeed Lynn Osborne, who has joined Hardwicke Buildings as operations director. Foot was a former managing partner of Tylo Lyons, which merged with Blake Lapthorn in July 2006.