Allen & Overy (A&O) has taken on the highly-rated former co-head of Lovells' international intellectual property (IP) practice Dr Henning Harte-Bavendamm
Harte-Bavendamm head-ed up Boesebeck Droste's IP practice prior to the Lovells merger and is one of Germany's top lawyers in the field. He has been taken on by A&O to build up the firm's nascent IP practice.
Harte-Bavendamm is currently negotiating with Lovells over the timing of the move, but it is understood that he remains on good terms with the firm and will continue to work there rather than going on gardening leave. He will join A&O's Hamburg office some time within the next six months.
A&O currently has just two partners who practise a combination of IP and M&A law. Arndt Overlack, A&O's senior partner for Germany, said: "We felt that IP by itself is a significant area, and it's also particularly important in connection with M&A work."
Lovells has a 17-partner IP practice that is rated as one of the best in the country. Harte-Bavendamm told The Lawyer he felt that there was little more for him to do at Lovells and that he wanted the challenge of building a new practice from scratch.
Harte-Bavendamm is chairman of one of the committees in the German Association of Intellectual Property and Copyright Law and it is understood that his move to A&O was facilitated by A&O partners who are also members of the trade organisation.
Lovells head of IP Robert Anderson said: "We're still negotiating which clients, if any, will go with Henning."