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In the spotlight: Stephen Denyer, director of strategic relationships

6 February 2019

Stephen Denyer is the director of strategic relationships at the Law Society.

Stephen DenyerMy strategic role at the Law Society involves regular engagement with senior and managing partners of leading law firms, general counsel of corporates and other significant stakeholders in the legal services market.

I am therefore well placed to connect leading players in the profession with each other and with national and local bodies.

I combine my Law Society role with senior positions in the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association and can therefore also bring a significant international element to my work.

Having spent more than 40 years in the legal profession (including 36 years at Allen & Overy), I have a long-term perspective on the evolution of legal services and enjoy conversations and questions relating to that environment.

As a regular speaker, commentator and facilitator, I feel at home in debates and discussions on both a large and small scale and I am often deployed by the Law Society’s relationship management team in those capacities.

Law firms in England and Wales are evolving more rapidly and in more diverse ways than at any time in my legal career.

I aim to be an active participant in debates and discussions with every kind of legal service provider in the jurisdiction, providing insights and updates about market trends and opportunities.

I also seek to represent the views and concerns of law firms to government and other key stakeholders.

One-to-one meetings with senior and managing partners and with senior representatives of local law societies and other similar bodies are a key ingredient to my efforts and I always welcome opportunities to have these.

One of the things I like most about my current role is that it enables me to get around the UK, so wherever you are in the jurisdiction there is an opportunity to engage with me locally as well as via Chancery Lane.

Within the Law Society, I also have primary responsibility for our engagement with lawyers working in-house in financial institutions, corporates, central and local government and the third sector.

My conversations with members of our fast-growing in-house community greatly assist my understanding of market trends.

I am also at the forefront of securing greater input from in-house lawyers into longer term legal policy issues, ensuring that their needs and concerns are properly reflected in our engagement with relevant government and international bodies.

Throughout my career, I have sought to achieve a closer link between the profession and universities and academic institutions.

Being a member of the Advisory Board of a major British law school and also on the Board of an international legal training centre providing English law training across Central and Eastern Europe, I have some practical insights into the wider benefits that flow from these engagements.

It is clear to me that UK law schools have made significant progress over the last few years in increasing and broadening their influence and impact in the legal profession and beyond.

I am particularly impressed by the international scope and reach which many schools now achieve.

Historically, the legal profession tended to look upon law schools mainly as a source of future recruits. I am leading an initiative which seeks to take a broader perspective on the multi-layered relationship between the academic and the practical sides of the law.

Currently I am actively involved in all aspects of the Law Society’s work concerning Women in Leadership in the Law.

I am personally chairing many of the ‘male champion of change’ workshops which we are holding and am a leading player in the development and delivery of our big international symposium entitled ‘The power of gender equality to transform the business of law’.

I do hope readers will be interested in finding out more.

I welcome direct contact from across the membership and my contact details are below:

Stephen Denyer
Director of Strategic Relationships
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
Direct dial: +44 (0) 208 049 4101
Mobile: +44 (0) 7800 566399