Addleshaw Goddard has announced the appointment of Axel Koelsch as the firm's Chief Operating Officer.

Axel will join AG in February 2017, as a member of the firm's 5-strong Executive Team, which is responsible for implementing strategy and running the operations of the business. He will report to Managing Partner, John Joyce.

Axel has significant experience working across continental Europe and leaves Freshfields where he has been COO of the Germany and Austria region since 2010. Prior to joining Freshfields, Axel was responsible for Lovells' operations across Continental Europe, including the planning and execution of the merger which created Hogan Lovells and, before that, spent several years at Linklaters (Germany) as COO and also Global Head of Strategy. As a McKinsey consultant from 1999-2002, Axel advised a range of international corporates and professional services businesses.

Axel is a member of Freshfields' Global Operations Committee, and has led a number of global transformation projects. He is also responsible for Finance, HR, IT, Business Development and Operations across Freshfields' seven offices in Germany and Austria and has enjoyed particular success identifying and launching new ways of delivering value to clients, including the use of digital technology.

John Joyce said: "Axel has distinguished himself during his board level roles in three leading global law firms, improving the delivery of business services as well as developing and implementing a range of very successful performance improvement and strategic change programmes. We have taken our time to find the individual with the right combination of skills and experience relevant to our business and we are delighted that Axel has chosen to join us.

"Axel will bring a valuable perspective in the implementation of the firm's strategy, as well as in shaping the growth, systems and profitability of our current and future business."

Axel Koelsch said: "AG has a clear vision and a growing momentum which makes it an exciting time to be joining the firm. I am looking forward to adding my experience to the management team in a way which helps to accelerate the delivery of its strategy and further enhance the firm's competitiveness, business practices, operations and financial performance."

Axel's management portfolio will focus on leading and developing the firm's business services infrastructure. As a member of the Executive Team, he will help to draw up and deliver strategic plans, manage costs and review delivery of investments.

As part of their joint commitment to improving client and sector offerings Addleshaw Goddard and HBJ Gateley confirmed (on 28 November 2017), that their firms will merge by 1 June 2017. As a single business, Addleshaw Goddard and HBJ believe they will better meet the needs of clients and the opportunities within the UK market whilst providing a stronger platform to further develop their businesses and international scale.

This important development is just one aspect of AGs strategic ambitions and further expansion internationally and in the UK remains a key strategic priority for the firm.


Notes to editors

Addleshaw Goddard Executive Team

The day to day management of Addleshaw Goddard lies with the Managing Partner who, with his executive team (the CFO (Colin Brown) and the two executive partners (Adrian Collins and Michael Leftley), the General Counsel (Simon Callander), and in the future, the COO (Axel Koelsch)), covers the key portfolios of: Clients and Markets; Talent; Finance; Quality; Delivery/Efficiency/Business Returns; International; and Risk and Compliance. 

Business Services Directorates

Business Services are provided to the Firm through its Communications, Human Resources, Research & Knowledge Services, Finance, Risk and Compliance, Information Technology, Facilities, and Business Development teams.