Legal Business Blogs

Taylor Wessing City duo leave to head legal at client OB10 and boost construction at Wedlake Bell

Taylor Wessing has lost two senior London partners as UK telecoms head Patrick Clark moves to head the legal team at one of the firm’s clients, City-headquartered global e-invoicing network OB10, and longstanding construction heavyweight Helen Garthwaite joins LB100 firm Wedlake Bell.

Clark returns in-house after nearly four years at the top 20 firm, having previously spent time as lead corporate counsel for North Europe at French global telecoms equipment company Alcatel-Lucent between 2005 and 2010. Before that he worked as a senior associate at Taylor Wessing from 1996 to 2005.

He becomes head of legal at global business-to-business e-invoicing network OB10, which was bought by Tungsten Corporation for £100m in October last year, in a deal led for OB10 by Taylor Wessing corporate partners William Belcher and David Mardle.

Elsewhere, Garthwaite has been a partner at Taylor Wessing for nearly 13 years and led the firm’s UK construction & engineering group for six of those. Acknowledged by the Legal 500 as an individual who ‘pays remarkable attention to detail’, Garthwaite’s clients have included Heron International, on City of London developments including Heron Plaza and Milton Court. Between 1996 and 2001, Garthwaite was head of construction and engineering at Lewis Silkin before her move to Taylor Wessing.

Wedlake Bell managing partner, Martin Arnold said: ‘Helen brings with her a wealth of experience and is an acknowledged expert within the legal profession and her industry sector. We are fortunate to have someone so experienced and well-regarded joining our successful construction team.’

Garthwaite is the latest in a series of punch-above-weight hires for the top 100 UK firm Wedlake Bell, after Berwin Leighton Paisner acquisition finance partner Marcus Jamson joined earlier this year. Last April also saw Dundas & Wilson M&A partner Julian Mathews join the 108-lawyer firm’s corporate team alongside Jai Bal from Farrer & Co, and in August 2013 it hired Squire Sanders’ partner Kris Weber to its pensions & employee benefits team. Last December Pinsent Masons commercial property partner Suzanne Gill joined the firm.

The firm enjoyed a 21% increase in revenues in the last financial year to £26.9m after the firm’s merger with fellow London firm Cumberland Ellis in February 2012. That merger saw the combined practice post a 131% rise in profit per equity partner at the end of the last financial year to £319,000, up from £138,000 at the end of 2011/12.

Meanwhile, other senior departures from Taylor Wessing in recent months include former head of international insurance & reinsurance James Crabtree, who joined Amlaw 100 firm Edwards Wildman’s London office in January, while private equity and investment funds partner Tom Cartwright joined Morgan Lewis & Bockius’ London business and finance practice that same month.