Announced today, top 20 law firm DWF has appointed Stephen Miles as Chief Executive Officer of its Commercial Services division. Stephen will be joining DWF from Pinsent Masons where he was Head of Financial Institutions and Human Capital, and a member of the firm's leadership team.
Stephen will be responsible for executing the firm's Commercial Services strategy, driving forward DWF's market-facing activities and co-ordinating the firm's major commercial practice groups – corporate and banking, litigation and real estate – to deliver further growth.
DWF's Commercial Services division accounts for approximately £100million of turnover (with the remainder attributable to insurance services), employs over 600 people and has 194 partners. The division's core strengths are in corporate, banking, employment, litigation and real estate, all of which have national reach through the firm's operations in 12 locations in the UK and Ireland.
Stephen will be a member of both DWF's Executive and Strategic Boards and will report directly to Managing Partner Andrew Leaitherland who, prior to this appointment, was undertaking the CEO responsibilities in addition to his Managing Partner responsibilities. Stephen will work closely with Chief Operating Officer Natalie Griffin who is responsible for operational management within the Commercial Services division as well as the three Commercial Services Practice Group Heads, Nic Crocker, Graham Dagnall and Alasdair Peacock.
Stephen has exceptional legal and management credentials having led Pinsent Masons' banking and restructuring, financial regulation, and employment and pensions practices, significantly growing and developing them, improving both their client relationships and financial performance. He also actively supported the firm's CSR and diversity initiatives.
In his capacity as a transactional banking lawyer at Pinsent Masons, Stephen acted for both financial institutions and corporates including, in particular, the national acquisition and leveraged finance teams of The Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC.
DWF's Managing Partner Andrew Leaitherland says: "This role is critical to the future development of Commercial Services at DWF and Stephen's wealth of management experience, his strong leadership track record and his impressive understanding and insight into changing client needs will give us an exceptional platform for future growth."
DWF's incoming CEO of Commercial Services, Stephen Miles, adds: "DWF is a forward-thinking and ambitious business which is looking to cement its position in the UK top 20 and there is a real opportunity here for me to help develop the firm's national reputation for commercial legal services and deliver significant growth across the UK. I'm very excited by the prospect of this new challenge."
DWF focuses on six main industry sectors comprising central and local government; energy and industrials; financial services; retail, food and hospitality; technology; and transport with clients including household names and FTSE-listed companies such as adidas, Barclays Bank, De Vere Group, Greene King, Royal Bank of Scotland, Virgin Trains and Whitbread.
The firm has been steadily building its commercial capability and over the last 12 months has made a number of strategic lateral hires to increase its strength and depth across a range of commercial disciplines including corporate, employment, litigation and real estate.