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DLA has taken on the London head of intellectual property (IP) from rival firm Hammonds
Jeremy Dickerson will join the technology, media and communications (TMC) group at DLA's London office on 2 September. Dickerson said he is leaving Hammonds due to concerns that the firm's focus on corporate finance will eventually sideline IP. "Hammonds is now to be corporate finance-based; and on a personal level, I don't want to be part of a support practice," he said. His practice, which includes acting for Harrods Group and ICI, focuses on contentious and non-contentious IP issues, including trademarks, patents, brand protection, antitrust and advertising. At DLA he will work with TMC group head Julian Stait, who has spearheaded massive growth, increasing the group's fee income by 51 and 55 per cent in the last two financial years. Dickerson commented: "It's clear to me that the technology practice at DLA is fantastic. It's where the firm wants to be. In the past, IP hasn't had the push given to the other sectors at DLA, but recently it's proved it wants to bring the practice up to scratch." The move follows hot on the heels of the recruitment of IT fixed share partners George Wheeler-Carmichael and Mark Crichard, who arrived from Masons and Garretts respectively. DLA has bucked the recent trend on investment and has been on a long-term hiring spree. Managing partner Nigel Knowles said that five partners had been offered equity status at DLA since 1 May. Besides Dickerson, and another lawyer who is set to join in the next few months, three partners from Belgium firm Caestecker & Partners (which dissolved in May so its lawyers could join DLA) have also joined as equity partners. However, Knowles also confirmed that two partners had been de-equitised since the start of 2001. "One from London and one from the regions," he said, adding that "both were by mutual consent". His announcement comes amid criticism that the firm is decreasing the ratio of equity partners to fixed-share partners in a bid to compete with the City firms. The firm announced a 16 per cent rise in profits per partner to £457,000, with fee income up 15 per cent to just over £200m.