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Bristows picks Savvides as joint managing partner two years after his hire

TMT specialist Bristows has elected IP litigator Theo Savvides as its joint managing partner, less than two years after he joined as a lateral hire from Osborne Clarke.

Having taken effect on 1 May, Savvides leads the firm jointly with existing co-managing partner and data protection specialist Mark Watts. He has succeeded incumbent Iain Redford, who has returned to full time fee earning.

Savvides also heads up the LB100 firm’s copyright and digital disputes team advising clients in the media, technology, consumer product and life sciences sectors.

Corporate partner Redford steps down from the position after serving two terms and resumes a full-time focus on his practice in the technology, media, telecoms and life sciences sectors.

Watts and Redford assumed their roles five months apart in 2010 as a relatively young management team. Handpicked for management just 15 years after qualification, neither faced any hustings, manifesto or elections and both were asked by the other 32 all-equity partners at the time if they would like to run the firm.

Bristows’ financial performance during the pair’s tenure has impressed, particularly as it has completed no mergers, rarely makes lateral hires and has no overseas offices. Last year’s revenue increased by 12% to £38.1m, constituting a 58% rise over five years, while profit per equity partner rose by 8% to £392,000.

Watts said: ‘Theo has a clear understanding and appreciation of our unique firm culture while also bringing a fresh perspective of the market. The announcement confirms Bristows’ commitment to a full-service strategy, driven by our work with innovative, cutting-edge clients around the world.’

Savvides said: ‘The opportunity came up to bring a fresh perspective to things while also continuing the good work Mark and Iain have done over the last six years. The process involved a soundings process and then a partners meeting I didn’t attend. I want to focus the full service nature of the firm through the two main sectors we operate – TMT and life sciences – and focusing on the clients we’ve got and service delivery we want to provide. We have no immediate plans to recruit but we’re open to it and bringing partners through.’