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Revolving Doors: Field Fisher hires Taylor Wessing’s David Kent as Irwin Mitchell and TLT make key hires

Taylor Wessing’s long reputed head of inward investment David Kent is to join Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) in a week that has also seen Irwin Mitchell and TLT make strategic partner hires.

Kent is a corporate partner specialising in advising emerging growth and listed companies from the US, Canada and Europe on structuring, establishing and operating businesses in the UK and Europe, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, technology transfers, distribution and licensing agreements.

A Taylor Wessing veteran, Kent co-founded the firm’s Cambridge office in 2002 and led the merger discussions between Taylor Joynson Garrett and German firm Wessing, which went live in 2002. He later co-founded the firm’s Tech City office in London in 2011.

Kent’s hire comes as FFW has also hired Pinsent Masons legal director George Gillham in its London tax and disputes practice and SJ Berwin senior associate Robin Spender, who will become finance partner.

These are the latest in a series of hires for the firm, including Eversheds’ City corporate partner Neil Matthews last week. However, the firm in May lost a three-partner franchising team led by rated partner Mark Abell to Bird & Bird.

In the north-west, meanwhile, DLA Piper IP dispute resolution partner Graeme Orchison became TLT’s second partner hire to launch its new Manchester office this summer.

Orchison, who specialises in heavyweight trademark, design and patent cases in the High Court and appellate courts, is the latest recruit in an on-going process to build the firm’s base in Manchester’s Spinningfields, which will open with a team of eight, including three new partners and three assistants. The firm anticipates the office, which will initially offer commercial contract, commercial litigation and IP litigation work, will grow to 20 to 30 people within its first 18 months.

Orchison is the second DLA partner to join the TLT Manchester team after commercial partner Stuart Campbell joined earlier this month, along with Pinsent Masons legal director Emma Flower.

TLT’s managing partner, David Pester (pictured), said: ‘These strategic appointments support our aim to deepen our expertise and are in direct response to demand for services from some of our major clients based in the north of England. The launch of an office in Manchester supports our strategy to have a strong UK-wide presence from which to deliver services and also supports our industry sector focus.’

Elsewhere in the north-west, Irwin Mitchell also appointed a trio of partners to its family practice across Manchester and Leeds. Louise Halford joined the Manchester office from Pannone alongside Fiona Turner from London family firm CKFT, while former DWF partner Carol Grundell joined the firm in Leeds.

Halford has 15 years’ experience dealing with complex child disputes cases involving foreign jurisdictional problems and is recognised by the Legal 500 as a leading expert in child abduction cases.

Irwin Mitchell’s head of national family law Martin Loxley said: ‘The vision of the family team is to be the leading firm in complex relationship breakdown in the UK.

‘We are seeing more and more clients all the time approaching us for advice on international matters and we are delighted to be welcoming these new partners to our innovative and growing team,’ he added.