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Simmons lands Olswang heavyweight Michael Burdon in senior exit ahead of triple merger

Ahead of his firm’s triple merger with Nabarro and CMS Cameron McKenna, Olswang veteran Michael Burdon is to leave for Simmons & Simmons to reinforce the firm’s intellectual property (IP) offering.

Burdon will join on 2 May, one day after the triple merger’s live date. While at Olswang he was head of European patent litigation and a partner in the firm’s IP group.

Burdon was the interim chief executive of Olswang following the sudden departure of David Stewart in October 2015. He was an elected board member at the firm and previously head of the firm’s commercial group. Burdon joined Olswang in 2002, having previously been a partner at Eversheds.

His exit will come as a blow to Olswang as it loses lawyers from one of its core practices ahead of the merger with Camerons and Nabarro. Last week, it was announced that Dentons would be taking on a team of four patent lawyers alongside partner Justin Hill from Olswang, as well as a trainee and two support staff to launch a UK patents practice.

Simmons head of IP Rowan Freeland said: ‘Michael’s arrival adds bench strength to our IP team who continue to provide cutting-edge advice for clients. He is a highly skilled patent litigator and a really nice guy, and I look forward to working with him.’

Simmons has already added three new partners since the start of the year, most recently taking on Emily Monstiriotis , former head of construction disputes at Bond Dickinson. The firm has also bulked out its capital markets offering with the addition of Simon Ovenden from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, as of 1 May, and Jonathan Mellor from Allen & Overy (A&O).

The hire comes after Simmons lost four IP partners which left for A&O last year. The Magic Circle firm added Marc Döring, Marjan Noor, Mark Heaney and David Stone, who joined A&O’s IP team led by Nicola Dagg.

Read more in: ‘Sale of the century – Has Camerons picked up a bargain with Olswang and Nabarro?’