Legal Business

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

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.’

caroline.hill@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

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

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.

Sarah.downey@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Further finance exit for BLP as Marcus Jamson joins Wedlake Bell

Further finance exit for BLP as Marcus Jamson joins Wedlake Bell

Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP’s) depleted finance department has seen a further partner exit after acquisition finance partner Marcus Jamson this month joined top LB100 UK firm Wedlake Bell.

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.

His departure is the latest in a series of partner exits including finance and restructuring partner Trevor Wood, who left for Mayer Brown in October, and head of banking and finance Matthew Kellett, whose exit also in October prompted the 786-lawyer firm to launch an independent review of its finance practice.

The review, which it is understood is being conducted by management consultants Jomati, is being overseen internally by managing partner Neville Eisenberg and executive chairman Robert MacGregor.

Meanwhile, 108-lawyer Wedlake Bell has been bolstering its London office for some time, including the December hire of Pinsent Masons commercial property partner Suzanne Gill.

Gill’s hire followed the March arrival of Dundas & Wilson corporate partner Julian Mathews and Farrer & Co corporate and capital markets partner Jai Bell.

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.

Wedlake Bell’s managing partner Martin Arnold said: ‘Marcus is an excellent addition to our already strong finance and banking team. His breadth of experience across the sector will be invaluable in a challenging and highly competitive area, one that we expect to grow.’

david.stevenson@legalease.co.uk