Davenport Lyons has taken on Allen & Fraser's highly-rated licensing partner as a department head.
David Lavender is joining Davenport Lyons on 1 May as a consultant and will take over responsibility of the firm's licensing practice from Philip Conway, head of the liquor and entertainment licensing group.
Conway says: "I knew that David was getting ready for retirement [from Allen & Fraser] and between him, his experience and his reputation in the West End market I thought why not put it all together with our practice."
Lavender's departure will leave Allen & Fraser with just two partners.
Robin Walter, licensing partner at Allen & Fraser, says: "It is entirely amicable. We have got our own communications with clients and David has got his communications and those that want to go with him will go with him."
Conway says that when Lavender - who is described as the "George Carman of licensing" - takes over responsibility of the department Conway will concentrate on other areas of law.
He says: "It will allow me to go out and get the business. [Lavender] wanted to retire from partnership and spend time doing licensing work."
With over 30 years experience in licensing law, Lavender is a highly-respected lawyer.
He has held the title of "clerk to the Board of Green Cloth Verge of the Palaces" since 1984, under which he provides licensing work for the royal household.
Lavender's appointment will add to Davenport Lyons' image as more than a pure media and entertainment firm.
In November last year, it invested in other areas of its practice by taking on IP and IT specialist David Marchese from Richards Butler, Herbert Smith corporate and M&A lawyer Rebecca Ferguson, and property litigator Jonathan Aubrey from Berwin Leighton.