DMH, Osborne Clarke lawyers set up IP/IT firm

Osborne Clarke lawyers set up IP/IT firm” />A new three-partner IP/IT boutique called iLaw Legal Services is being launched in September by lawyers from Osborne Clarke and DMH Stallard.

The launch of iLaw follows the launch of IP/IT boutiques such as m-Law, New Media Law and Technology Law Alliance in recent years. The rise of the boutiques has been based on the premise that they will undercut the hourly rates of City firms.

iLaw partner Bobby Gill said: “Clients are willing to pay £400-£600 an hour for a partner on corporate and banking transactions, but they often cannot justify paying those rates for IP and IT work, so we’re going in at half that rate.

“This is the way the market’s going. Commercial budgets are going to be cut.”

Osborne Clarke has lost two lawyers to iLaw – IT outsourcing head Gill and IP litigator Mark Culbert – who will form the boutique with Justin Ellis, a non-contentious IP partner at DMH Stallard.

Culbert and Ellis both began their careers at Clifford Chance, where they first discussed the idea of setting up their own law firm.

“We had it in the backs of our minds but we were waiting for more client contacts,” said Ellis. “About a year ago we felt the time was right.”

iLaw will be based in Soho and will target both blue-chip and smaller technology clients. iLaw is set up as a limited company rather than as a traditional law firm.

The firm’s plan is to double in size every two years, and the partners said they could float the company within five to 10 years to support the expansion.