THE FOUNDER of Garrett & Co's Reading intellectual property department has handed in his notice to set up his own firm.
Marcus O'Leary's resignation comes just over a year after his move to the Garrett & Co office from its Reading neighbours Pitmans.
Both Garrett & Co and O'Leary stress his departure is entirely amicable, and say there are plans for him to continue as a consultant.
He hopes to be able to leave the firm at the end of the month and has already hired offices on the outskirts of Reading.
O'Leary plans to set up a practice specialising in IT law, his speciality.
There are currently five fee earners in the Garrett & Co IP department, including partner Andrew Fishleigh who accompanied O'Leary on the move to Garrett & Co from Pitmans.
O'Leary stresses that his colleagues will be staying with the firm and puts his own departure down to a long-held desire to start up his own firm.
"I've got a good client base and there's no reason to believe they won't be coming with me," he adds.
Garrett & Co managing partner Julia Chain praises O'Leary for his work in setting up the IP department which she says has attracted a considerable level of interest from several senior lawyers in the IP sector. "He has left a very strong department which will be able to cope with the situation," she says.