Legal Business Blogs

City departures continue for Edwards Wildman as Osborne Clarke recruits IP partner

Osborne Clarke has become the latest firm to dip into Edwards Wildman Palmer’s dwindling London partnership, and has recruited IP specialist Ben Goodger who is understood to have resigned from the US firm last week.

Having joined the firm in 2010 from IP boutique Rouse, Goodger is recommended by the Legal 500 for licensing and transactional work in the pharma and biotech industry. He further advises companies on the strategic management, commercialisation and protection of their intellectual property, and previously spent two years in Shanghai where he managed Rouse’s China business and Asia commercial IP groups.

For Osborne Clarke, the hire is of little surprise considering the firm’s clear ambition for further growth. In recent weeks it also announced the hire of fellow IP partner Andrea Schmoll from Baker & McKenzie, who departed the firm after 12 years to join OC’s Cologne office.

For Edwards Wildman, the future of its London office is looking increasingly unclear as Goodger joins a lengthy list of City partners that have exited in recent months. The catalyst is said to be over issues of disconnection with the firm’s US arm and in relation to pay.

Located at Old Broad Street, Edwards Wildman recently lost associates to Eversheds, Travers Smith, Pinsent Masons and automobile giant Nissan, while in the summer, insurance litigation lawyer Rhys Davies joined the recently-departed insurance heavyweight Francis Mackie at Weightmans.  A quintet of corporate partners left the firm earlier this year including Niall McAlister to OlswangStuart Blythe to CMS Cameron McKennaShawn Atkinson to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, David Ramm to Morgan Lewis Bockius, and Eero Rautalahti.

Remaining partners at the firm are said to be in talks with fellow US firm Cooley, with negotiations led by commercial litigation head Laurence Harris. Such discussions are ongoing as Boston-headquartered Edwards Wildman recently announced plans to combine with Dallas-bred Locke Lord, forming a $675m practice that would sit just outside the top 50 of the Global 100.