Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) IP/IT head Mark Abell has resigned from the firm’s management board in a move seen as representing a loosening of the practice’s grip on the firm.
Abell, one of the highest-profile partners at the firm, will retain his role as head of IP/IT, which contributes around a third of turnover - the same proportion as the whole of corporate.
An FFW source said: “There was a view that the IP and tech side of the firm headed by Mark Abell had taken over. Other areas weren’t happy.
“There’s been a process of loosening the IP and technology grip on the firm. It’s resulted in a number of changes at management level.”
That said, Abell has been replaced on the board by unsuccessful managing partner candidate Michael Chissick, a technology partner. Chissick lost out to public and regulatory partner Matthew Lohn in the managing partner election in October.
Lohn said: “We are, as all businesses are, reviewing our strategy in the global marketplace. We felt we needed the next generation.”
Abell still heads the firm’s international strategy committee and said he stood down from the board to focus on pushing FFW’s global expansion plans, particularly in Germany, and to concentrate on his position as head of IP/IT.