RollOnFriday can reveal that David Stewart, who unexpectedly stepped down as Olswang's CEO last month, was done over by his partners in an extraordinary mobster-style hit.

Mystery has surrounded Stewart's resignation as CEO and his subsequent departure from the firm: Olswang went into lockdown and wouldn't say anything. However it now transpires this is because it had given him the law firm equivalent of a bullet in the head. Insiders say that the firm's Chairman invited Stewart to lunch out of the office and handed him a piece of paper containing the requisite number of partner signatures to force him to stand down. He then asked Stewart not to return to his desk. Now that's stylish*.

Remarkably not all the partners at the firm knew this was happening. Apparently those organising the coup only spoke to those colleagues that they thought likely to support Stewart's ejection. At least one head of an Olswang department was completely unaware that his CEO was being ousted.

    How it might have looked

Still, it's an ill wind which blows no good. One source claims that Stewart hated trying to manage his bickering and ultimately turncoat partners. He has now decided to leave the firm and is believed to be on a long and expensive holiday before, presumably, he reappears at a US outfit on beaucoup de dollars.

A spokeswoman for Olswang would only say that "David Stewart was not asked to leave the firm". Which of course is correct as he was asked to step down as CEO. Meanwhile, the postroom at RoF Towers is awaiting a horse's head.

*There is precedent for City firms behaving like this when they fancy a change of leadership. RollOnFriday has an email from a couple of partners at a well known firm to their Managing Partner asking him to meet them off the train first thing in the morning. So, advice to anyone in management at a law firm: if you get called into an unexpected meeting outside the office by your partners, barricade yourself behind your desk and call your lawyer.

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 28 November 14 08:09

The weirdest thing was that they'd not that long ago voted him in for another term, presumably on the basis of a majority vote. Which makes the coup just 18 months after re-election doubly strange.
Perhaps it's a British thing of partners not saying what they actually feel until it really is critical and are unable to hold it in any longer, i.e. you vote for someone you don't like, put up with them because you don't want to be seen to be in opposition, then the anger/bad blood/unresolved issues just cannot be repressed any longer and all boils over into a coup.
The other side of this would seem to be Stewart's apparent total failure to see that he was royally p*ssing off the partnership in some way and failed to resolve the issues before the coup got him. Funny old thing partnerships...

Anonymous 30 November 14 21:36

anonymous user
28/11/2014 10:25
Leaves the door open for Eurythmics to get back together

Good point. But sweet dreams are not made of this...