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Wedlake Bell’s acquisitive streak continues as Christopher Tite and Louise Gowman join from LG; Clive Thorne from RPC

The recent acquisitive streak by Wedlake Bell has seen the UK top 100 firm bring in legacy Lawrence Graham’s (LG’s) former head of corporate Christopher Tite and projects and infrastructure partner Louise Gowman, alongside RPC IP and technology partner Clive Thorne.

Tite was the co-founder and managing partner of Tite & Lewis, which merged with LG in 2004. He became head of corporate upon the merger, holding the post until 2011, when he became head of projects and infrastructure until this year. LG’s latest merger with Wragge & Co, forming Wragge Lawrence Graham, went live this month.

Tite and Gowman originally worked together at Stephenson Harwood and Gowman, who has a real estate background and specialises in the consenting, development and financing of infrastructure projects, was one of the founding partners of Tite & Lewis.

Thorne, meanwhile, has been a partner in RPC’s IP, technology and outsourcing group since joining in 2010 from Arnold & Porter, where he headed the UK IP practice between 2004 and 2008.

The trio’s arrival at Wedlake Bell on the first day of this month follows the lateral hire in April of rated Taylor Wessing construction partner Helen Garthwaite.

Garthwaite had been a partner at Taylor Wessing for nearly 13 years and led the firm’s UK construction & engineering group for six of those.

Her hire came only two months after the arrival in January of Berwin Leighton Paisner acquisition finance partner Marcus Jamson. The Slaughter and May-trained lawyer specialises in domestic and international corporate lending and has over 20 years of experience acting for clearing banks, financial institutions, investment banks and private equity sponsors on financings and debt restructurings.

Meanwhile, a series of hires last year saw Pinsent Masons commercial property partner Suzanne Gill join Wedlake Bell in December, Squire Sanders’ partner Kris Weber join the pensions & employee benefits team in August, while last April Dundas & Wilson M&A partner Julian Mathews joined the 108-lawyer firm’s corporate team alongside Jai Bal from Farrer & Co.

The firm enjoyed a 21% increase in revenues in 2012/13 to £26.9m after its merger with fellow London firm Cumberland Ellis in February 2012, which saw the combined practice post a 131% rise in profit per equity partner.

Martin Arnold, Wedlake Bell’s managing partner, said: ‘We are delighted that Christopher Tite, Louise Gowman and Clive Thorne have joined the firm. We are continuing to attract high quality lateral hires who are drawn to Wedlake Bell for the quality of our client base and the work we do and the collegiate culture which runs through the firm. This places us in a strong position to realise our future growth plans across key practice areas.’