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Leading practitioner and Henry Hepworth partner Michael Henry has quit the firm he co-founded.
Henry Hepworth, which has been renamed H2O, was founded in 1997. Former Goodman Derrick libel partner Brian Hepworth hooked up with Henry. Clients of the firm include Tesco, Littlewoods and Hay & Robertson.
But The Lawyer can reveal that Henry, who is regarded as one of the UK's leading media and IP lawyers, is close to joining the London office of US giant Buchanan Ingersoll.
Two former Henry Hepworth lawyers have already joined the US firm and it is hoped Henry will join by the end of September.
London head Barry Francis says: "We are in advanced stages of discussions with Michael Henry although we have not yet signed, sealed and delivered. But we very much hope that he will join us and we know that he is very keen."
Buchanan Ingersoll's 15-strong London office opened in January after recruiting Francis and a team of six partners and 10 assistants from Beachcroft Wansbroughs (The Lawyer, 11 November).
They were shortly joined by two more partners, Rupert Jones and Jonathan Griffiths, who came to the operation from the now defunct Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal's London office.
Buchanan Ingersoll's London office was opened primarily to advise on major projects as well as corporate finance.
Henry specialises in media, communications and IP and his signing will be a departure from the firm's current focus, although it advises a number of IT clients.
Last year, Henry Hepworth picked up Davies Arnold Cooper's entire London-based intellectual property group, consisting of partner and head Catrin Turner and a five-strong team. It specialises in contentious and non-contentious IP/IT in media, insurance and retail (The Lawyer, 28 June 1999).
Henry Hepworth declined to comment while Michael Henry was unavailable for comment.