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Targeting USA: Linklaters reshuffles teams to boost corporate and disputes

Magic Circle firm Linklaters has moved its TMT and tax groups from its commercial division into corporate. The firm has overhauled a three-strand structure – corporate, commercial and finance and projects – in a bid to strengthen its corporate team as the firm looks to crack America.

Around 40 lawyers globally from tax and TMT will come under the corporate umbrella, with the commercial group having been rebranded as dispute resolution.

The firm is looking to switch to a sector-orientated approach as it seeks outbound work from US pharma and energy majors. Tax inversion deals have been popular in the last 12 months and the firm believes that the intellectual property (IP) team, with three partners in London and six globally, will assist this push. Stuart Bedford, London head of corporate at Linklaters, said: ‘We’re looking at how to make sure we are properly cementing our position around the pharma sector and the IP part of TMT is an essential part of that. We’re having a very good run, having done the Novartis-GSK deal, but there are more opportunities in that space.’

Consultations took place between the leaders of the commercial and corporate groups late last year, and the disputes partners, who heavily populated the commercial division, were keen to purify the group and rebrand.

One senior Linklaters litigator said: ‘While we’re still a lot smaller than corporate and finance respectively, having a dispute resolution group increases the profile of litigation internally.’