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Strategic recruitment: Latham continues litigation push with Olswang hire

After taking Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner Martin Davies at the start of this year, Latham & Watkins is continuing its litigation push with Olswang partner Ian Felstead.

While Legal Business understands Latham partners have already voted on Felstead’s arrival, it is understood Felstead is still grappling with Olswang’s difficult exit terms, which have been known to restrain partners from joining new firms for up to 18 months.

His departure will come as a blow to Olswang, as it has suffered several exits ahead of the triple merger with CMS Cameron McKenna and Nabarro.

Felstead started his career at Olswang as a trainee in 2000, and specialises in commercial, media and regulatory litigation advising clients on issues like defamation, privacy, contempt, data protection and copyright issues.

Key matters Felstead has been involved with include acting for News Group Newspapers in relation to the hacking scandal and acting for The Guardian in its defence of a breach of confidence action brought by Barclays.

In commercial litigation, Felstead acted for ITV on its High Court litigation with STV in 2011, PartyGaming on its dispute with Empire Online and BPI on its Copyright Tribunal reference regarding online music.

Other Olswang departures of late in London include intellectual property veteran Michael Burdon to Simmons & Simmons last month. Earlier in March 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.

In January, Olswang Paris head Guillaume Kessler also left the soon-to-be-merged firm in favour of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. The firm’s Paris office has since closed.

Olswang and Latham both refused to comment at press time.

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