Davenport Lyons, the leading media and entertainment practice, has poached three lawyers as it attempts to throw off its image as a niche firm.
All three will join the firm as partners. Intellectual property and technology specialist David Marchese joins from Richards Butler, corporate and M&A lawyer Rebecca Ferguson moves from Herbert Smith and Jonathan Aubrey, a property litigator, joins from Berwin Leighton.
It is understood that Marchese, who has 23 years experience in the hard IP field, will bring a number of important clients with him.
He is known for his technology and patents practice which adds a hard edge to Davenport Lyons' IP group, currently known only for its work in rights.
Marchese says: "Richards Butler has a very good media department but I was really the only non-contentious IP lawyer."
New partner and M&A specialist Rebecca Ferguson returns to practice after seven months maternity leave.
Head of company/commercial at Davenport Lyons, Anthony Fiducia says: "The purpose [of her appointment] is to give us greater depth in the public companies and M&A arena."
The firm has doubled its contingent of partners to 24 in the last two years.
Other recent appointments include Stephen Digby, former head of IP at Withers; media partners Richard Moxon from Marriott Harrison and Melanie Haddad from D J Freeman; and Jay Quatrini, a music partner from Mischon de Reya.
The firms' ability to offer a full service will, it believes, allow it to challenge more established middle-tier City firms.
The firm has just taken on new premises and its billings are projected to rise to at least £9m in 1999/2000.