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Bristows has made up its first partner in almost two years, promoting real estate lawyer Teresa Edmunds.
The firm postponed this year's round of partner promotions while it came to terms with the loss of one-fifth of its partnership. Patent litigators Penny Gilbert, Tim Powell, Simon Ayrton, Zoe Butler and Alex Wilson left the firm in March to set up IP boutique Powell Gilbert.
Bristows senior partner Michael Rowles said there would be further promotions in IP.
"Of course there will be appointments within IP sooner rather than later. We're moving forward," he said.
Bristows is best known for its IP expertise, but has not made up an IP associate in years.
The last associate to be promoted to partner was in July 2005, when healthcare regulatory specialist Maria Isabel Manley joined the equity.
Edmunds' clients include Kodak, Gillette and Dolby Laboratories.
Bristows has an all-equity partnership with 21 partners.