When I first met Stephen at an IBA meeting many years ago, the introduction came with the statement that he knew more lawyers in more places across the world than anyone else. I was sceptical at the time but I now know this to be true! Having spent over 41 years as a lawyer and partner at Freshfields, he’s now retired and pursuing a portfolio of interests that includes law firm management consulting. He has a broad range of experience from his various management roles at Freshfields which include US managing partner, global head of capital markets, Asia head of corporate, council member and a variety of other positions which give him both a global and international perspective and a hands-on “how do you get it done” mindset. Whilst at Freshfields he helped create and led their groundbreaking ‘StrongerTogether’ programme to manage their relationships with law firms all over the world. Through this, not only did he increase the number of lawyers he knows but also had a myriad of conversations about the challenges of managing law firms.
He remains very active in the IBA and is currently CoChair of the Law Firm Management Committee. He has established his own consulting firm – Making Change Happen (https://makingchangehappen.com/) and is a member of the Cambridge Strategy Group, working as a consultant in the client engagement teams we create, in a bespoke and considered manner, for each client. One client said of Stephen – “it’s so unusual to have a consultant who’s actually walked the walk rather than just talked the talk – it’s amazing what practical insights Stephen brings to any issue”.
Stephen is co-author of several books and a regular speaker on law firm management and business development topics. His latest research on business development highlights what he sees as the dangerous mis-match between the expectations of partners and the increasingly senior BD professionals that firms are bringing on board. His most recent publication is the Business Development Handbook for Lawyers, now in its second edition, which has quickly become the ‘bible’ for law firm business development.