DesignLSM founder Simon McCarthy retires

April 5, 2024

(UK) – DesignLSM announces Co-Founder Simon McCarthy’s retirement after 36 years at the company.

Alongside McCarthy’s departure, the studio announced his successors Holly Hallam, Managing Director, and Rachael Pratt, Studio Director, who will be taking full ownership of the company.

McCarthy found the company in 1988 with his late business partner Steve Bouchardiere. The pair were driven by a shared passion for hospitality, and creating aesthetically pleasing spaces that led them to commercial successful. Bouchardiere passed away in February 2023.

Under the stewardship of Hallam and Pratt, DesignLSM is set to continue building upon its reputation, focusing on expanding its global footprint with projects in Central London, Europe, and a continuing growth in the Middle East.

Simon McCarthy, Co-Founder of DesignLSM, says: “As I reflect on the past 36 years, I feel immensely proud of all that my dear friend, Steve, and I began. Starting any business has its challenges, let alone launching an agency at the ages of 24 and 32 – but standing back and seeing the thousands of projects around the world that we have collectively delivered with our fantastic clients and talented teams over all those years feels like a true achievement. I am eternally grateful to Steve for joining me on this path and will forever cherish and miss him as a wonderful business partner, but more importantly, an amazing friend.”

He adds: “I couldn’t be happier that Holly and Rachel will be leading the future of DesignLSM – I have every faith that they will drive the business forward with their undeniable passion, knowledge of and love for the hospitality industry, just the very reasons why Steve and I started this agency. I will continue to show my support and cannot wait to see what more they can achieve.”

Hallam says: “Simon has been both a mentor, not only sharing his vast knowledge of the industry and in-depth technical expertise with both Rachel and me, but also as an invaluable business partner for the last three years. We both are extremely grateful to have had him by our side to navigate through the Covid period and to then move on to celebrate our strengths and successes; ensuring a smooth transition in ownership, equipping us to forge forward, continuing the legacy of DesignLSM. Simon will continue to offer his support with all our future endeavours. We wish him and his family the happiest of times ahead as they embark on their next adventure.”