New CEO for Clarke Willmott as Stephen Rosser prepares to stand down from role next year

November 25, 2022

National law firm Clarke Willmott has elected a new CEO to take over from Bristol-based Stephen Rosser when steps down after 13 years in the role.

Peter Swinburn, pictured right, managing director of the firm’s commercial property division and head of its London and Southampton offices, will become CEO on 1 May next year. 

He has worked at Clarke Willmott for 11-and-a-half years, having joined from Shoosmiths, where he spent five years.

He qualified with Bevan Ashford in 2004, having trained in London, Bristol and Exeter.

Under Stephen Rosser’s leadership Clarke Willmott has been transformed, with a strong and improving financial performance and a growing reputation for strong client and people-focused culture, leadership and commitment to a positive work-life balance for staff.

In September the firm, which employs more than 650 staff, including 100-plus partners, reported a 12% rise in annual revenues to £59.6m for its 2021/22 financial year. 

At the time Mr Rosser, pictured right, said the firm remained committed to the long-term growth of a diverse commercial and private client practice underpinned by a culture built around fully flexible and sustainable ways of working.

He said hybrid working introduced as a result of Covid-19 was delivering benefits for its people and the wider business.

The firm’s Bristol base in Bath Street, home to around 300 staff – including more than 40 partners – is to be relocated to more sustainable space on the top floors of the flagship Assembly C office building on Temple Way, next spring.

In a message to staff, Clarke Willmott chairman Kelvin Balmont said: “I’m delighted to let you know that earlier this week our partners elected Peter Swinburn as Clarke Willmott’s new CEO from next spring, when Stephen Rosser’s tenure reaches its conclusion.

“I am confident that under Peter’s leadership we can look forward to a continuation of the progress made during Stephen’s time as CEO.”

Mr Rosser remains CEO until the end of next April and he will work with his successor to ensure a smooth transition. Following the handover he will remain in a senior role supporting his successor.

Clarke Willmott also has offices in Taunton, Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester.

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