Richard Baker is the new managing partner of leading South West law firm Stephens Scown LLP, with growth and client service at the top of his agenda.

Richard took up his post on 1 May, taking over from Robert Camp after his eight-and-a-half-year tenure in the role. Robert will remain with the firm as director of strategic innovation.

Richard Baker joined Stephens Scown in 1993 and has been a member of its Board for over six years, initially as head of the Truro office and for the last year as deputy managing partner. A real estate expert with particular expertise in the agriculture sector, he is recognised as a leader in his field by independent legal guide Chambers UK.

“Stephens Scown has been on an incredible journey under Robert’s leadership and I’m looking forward to building on that. We are in a great position to grow by focussing on what we do well, which is providing exceptional client service,” says Richard Baker of his new role.

“Diversity and gender balance will also be a priority for me and I’m delighted that several other new Board members take up their roles from 1 May alongside me, including Hilary Pitts as head of Devon, Catherine Mathews as deputy head of Devon and Verity Slater as deputy head of Cornwall. The firm’s Board will now be 67% female over double the current FTSE average of 29% female representation at Board level,” adds Richard.

Commenting on his predecessor Robert Camp, Richard Baker said: “Robert is an exceptional leader. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious. He really cares about everyone who works here, and takes the time to listen to their ideas. But he doesn’t stop there – many of the changes he has introduced at the firm have started as ideas suggested by our people. It takes a strong leader to do that.”

Robert was appointed as Stephens Scown’s managing partner in 2011 and since then has transformed the firm, which is now ranked among the best employers in the UK according to the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For survey. Robert was also instrumental in introducing employee ownership at Stephens Scown. The firm is the first large law firm to take this step, which means that all eligible members of staff enjoy an equal share of the firm’s profits on a pro rata basis.

Robert Camp adds: “I’m so happy to be staying on with the firm as director of innovation, a role which will allow me to explore ideas to keep us at the forefront of our sector. I wish Richard every success in his new role. Stephens Scown is a special place thanks to our people and I look forward to our new era under Richard’s leadership.”