Legal Business

Financials update: Taylor Wessing increases global revenues by 7%; UK up 4%


Taylor Wessing has posted modest turnover growth after an expansive 2012, announcing its global revenue for the financial year 2012/13 has increased by 7% from £212m in 2011/12 to £228m, while UK revenue grew by 4% to £104.5m.

Tim Eyles, who was re-elected as UK managing partner of the firm in May last year, said he was ‘pleased to have achieved continued revenue growth’ despite tough market conditions.

He added: ‘The past year has been one both of significant advancement and of investment. We have established a large geographic offering and are well placed to service the high-growth industries and economies through our focus on the TMT, private wealth and life sciences industries, with litigation being a significant driver across the board.’

The firm declined to provide profit figures but last year saw profit per equity partner increase 5% to £407,000.

The top-line revenue growth comes on the back of another expansive year for the Anglo-German hybrid. The partnership grew of 15% to 365 in the last financial year, with the the firm making 15 lateral hires and 16 promotions globally. The firm added a number of offices throughout Europe and Asia, including Bratislava, Brno, Budapest, Kiev, Klagenfurt, Prague, Singapore, Vienna and Warsaw. Much of this expansion came on the back of its merger with Austria-based enwc in May last year.

The firm has also won several significant panel spots, including Lloyds Banking Group and Credit Suisse, while it has snared prolific work across various sectors, including a £1.6bn negligence claim involving global audit firm PwC which was taken to London’s High Court by failed sub-prime lender Cattles.

Partners Howard Palmer and Alan Evans also recently advised iCity and Infinity in a landmark agreement that secured the long-term future of the former press and broadcast centres in the Olympic Park, in a deal worth around £1bn.

Legal Business

Taylor Wessing snares Harbottles IP head Owen


Taylor Wessing (TW) bolstered its strong IP credentials last month, recruiting the head of Harbottle & Lewis’ IP group Mark Owen into its City TMT team.

The arrival of Owen will add further strength to TW’s leading soft IP practice. The former Clifford Chance lawyer has advised significant media and entertainment clients on copyright, designs, trade mark, database rights and data privacy issues for the last 25 years.

Legal Business

Taylor Wessing boosts partnership by 16 in latest promotion round


Taylor Wessing has more than doubled its partner promotions this year to 16, of which only one is in its City office.

City private client lawyer Kirstie McGuigan was made up to partner while the firm’s other promotions were spread across Munich (four), Berlin (two), Frankfurt (one), Dusseldorf (two), Hamburg (one), Budapest (one), Vienna (one), and Prague (two), Bratislava (one).

The promotions were spread among multiple practice areas, including corporate (four), real estate (three), trade marks, & design (two), competition & antitrust (one), patents (one), banking & finance (one), and environmental planning & regulatory (one).

Four London associates have been promoted to senior counsel in finance, telecoms, real estate and corporate.

The partnership promotions represent a significant increase in number on this time last year when the firm promoted six partners, of which one was in London and the rest across its German offices.

‘Each of these lawyers is hugely skilled and has been promoted on their own merits, having demonstrated sharp commercial instinct, sound industry knowledge and a collaborative mind-set that will allow them to play a key role in Taylor Wessing’s international growth,’ said Tim Eyles, the firm’s UK managing partner.

Taylor Wessing’s is the latest of a series of partner announcements, following Pinsent Masons’ 14-partner promotion in April. Other firms to make recent announcements include Holman Fenwick, Nabarro and Irwin Mitchell.


Partner promotions in full:

Adrian Birnbach (real estate) – Munich

Torsten Braner (corporate) – Budapest

Michael Bruggemann (EU Competition, Antitrust and Trade) – Dusseldorf

Harald Czermak (real estate) – Vienna

Anja Disput (real estate) – Frankfurt

Petr Dobes (trade marks & designs) – Prague

Ortrun Gunzel (trade marks & designs) – Munich

Hagen Hasselbrink (corporate) – Berlin

Tim Heitling (corporate) – Berlin

Silvia Hlavackova (banking & finance) – Bratislava

Anja Lunze (patents) – Munich

Kirstie McGuigan (private client) – London

Thomas Rechberger (corporate) – Prague

Jakob Riemenschneider (China) – Munich

Roland Schmidt-Bleker (environmental planning & regulatory) – Dusseldorf

Thorsten Troge (trade marks & designs) – Hamburg


Senior counsel promotions in full:

Lee Bagshaw (corporate) – Singapore (on secondment from London)

Marcus Earnshaw (finance) – London

Sian Skelton (IT telecoms & competition) – London

Louise Tobutt (real estate) – London


Legal Business

Taylor Wessing snares Harbottles IP head Owen


Taylor Wessing (TW) has secured a prominent lateral hire to its intellectual property team, recruiting the head of Harbottle & Lewis’ IP Group Mark Owen.

The arrival of Owen will add further strength to TW’s leading soft IP practice. The former Clifford Chance lawyer has advised significant media and entertainment clients on copyright, designs, trade mark, database rights and data privacy issues for the last 25 years.

‘Mark’s focus on new media clients and digital convergence issues aligns perfectly with Taylor Wessing’s TMT offering, while his excellent contacts and experience in Silicon Valley will be a real asset to our international practice,’ said Tim Eyles, Taylor Wessing’s UK managing partner.

Owen himself said that he looked forward ‘to making the most of the opportunity that will be afforded by the strength and breadth of Taylor Wessing’s international IP platform’, underlining the attraction of a large international IP group in contrast to Harbottles’ well-regarded boutique practice.

‘Mark has fantastic connections in the US – that’s another area where we’re strong but want to build on,’ says Niri Shan, head of the firm’s IP and media & entertainment group. He also confirmed that Owen will bring other ‘good brand clients with him.’

Owen recently enhanced his international profile, representing Lucasfilm in a five-year battle with prop designer Andrew Ainsworth over rights in costume design that ended in the Supreme Court in 2011.

TW’s hire of Owen is the second significant move for the firm’s TMT practice since the turn of the year. In January the firm added technology lawyer Mike Turner from Osborne Clarke to head its UK TMT sector group.

Owen’s arrival adds yet another name to a suite of well regarded soft IP experts in TW’s highly ranked practice, according to The Legal 500, including Charles Lloyd, Roland Mallinson and Shan himself.

As for the future of TW’s burgeoning IP practice, Shan says it will look for strategic hires in areas ‘where we think there’s growth out there’.

‘TMT is one of those spaces and is a buoyant sector,’ he added. ‘There’s not much M&A activity expected in that space, but people are exploiting technology,’ he says.

Legal Business

Taylor Wessing eyes Hong Kong deal after Singapore launch


Taylor Wessing is more likely to merge with a local practice in Hong Kong than to set up in the region organically, the firm indicated last month, as it continues to expand its Asian footprint after taking over Singapore alliance firm RHT Law in March.

Tim Eyles, the firm’s London-based managing partner, told LB that the firm would not go into Hong Kong on its own; rather, it would look for a local practice to tie-up with.

Legal Business

Dual Core


With the number of large-scale tech M&A deals increasing in 2011, some believe that another technology bubble is forming. Following the coalition government’s pledge to help the developing local tech sector at Silicon Roundabout, LB finds out how law firms are placing their bets, and who is getting ahead of the game.

All eyes in the legal community are firmly fixed on East London. Taylor Wessing’s October move to open a second London office in Tech City, located near the Old Street roundabout, renews focus by commercial law firms on the technology scene, and signals a flourishing of the UK’s tech sector.

Legal Business

Firm mechanics


Eight years after its formative merger, Taylor Wessing remains divided. With a new strategy and rebrand in the offing, has the firm finally laid its integration demons to rest, or is it just a new logo and a different shade of green?

Modern law firms are complex machines. In a perfect, well-managed example, the inner workings click and whirr in seamless industry. At Taylor Wessing, the parts haven’t been put together properly. The engine needs some work.