DJ Freeman aims for continued growth with Choice hire

DJ Freeman has snapped up an in-house counsel from Choice Hotels International and appointed him as a partner in the technology and media department.
David Schollenberger is an IT and intellectual property specialist who, prior to his in-house role, was an IT partner at Osborne Clarke.
Schollenberger, a dual-qualified UK and US lawyer, has spent three years as assistant general counsel at Choice in Maryland and will return to the UK to take up his appointment next month.
“We're committed to investing further in this and other strategic areas of the practice,” said DJ Freeman chief executive Laurence Harris. “We've been making a number of key lateral hires around the practice over the last 12 months and this is certainly not the last.”
Other recent hires include Hammonds corporate partner Simon Killick, Harvey Ingram Owston's previous head of company and commercial Martin Smith and Karen Howard from Ashurst Morris Crisp.
However, the firm has also suffered its share of departures, predominantly from the litigation department.
In the last six months, Marina Palomba went to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, Christine Derrett has taken a career break and Ann Robson is now responsible for training at the firm. Previous department head Sally Hine is also leaving.
“The litigation department wasn't very busy,” said one ex-DJ Freeman litigator. “In some cases we were competing against litigators in other departments for work.”
“I don't think that's right,” argued Harris. “But we didn't recognise the total strength of the department, and we weren't selling it to clients. We're now trying to get them all working together.”
Consequently, a recent restructure within the firm sees the 92-strong litigation team – responsible for over 50 per cent of the firm's revenue – brought together under one umbrella. “It represents a move towards a matrix structure,” said Harris.