IT/IP departures continue at Garretts as two more defect

LONDON Garretts IT partner Mark Turner, and Mark Hill, the head of the firm's Yorkshire intellectual property practice, have defected from the firm.

The moves are the latest in a series of departures of IT/IP personnel from Garretts.

Turner is taking up a partnership in the IT/IP department at Herbert Smith while Hill is joining Dibb Lupton Alsop in Leeds as a partner.

Turner's departure comes just a few weeks after London colleague Richard Kemp, who was Garretts' primary London IT contact, left to set up his own firm, Kemp & Co.

Turner said he felt the need to be with a firm which was strong in a variety of related areas, such as finance and employment. Hill, who was not a partner, insisted that he left for the superior opportunity at Dibbs. 'Garretts will succeed, but it's embryonic,' he commented. 'The unit at Dibbs is large, dynamic and well-established.'

Sean Lippell, Garretts managing partner for the north of England, said: 'I don't like losing good people, but it won't deflect us from our objectives.'

However, Hill's departure has prompted Garretts to merge its Leeds IP/IT practice with its commercial group under Richard Bonner.

Last summer the department lost its most senior IP/IT lawyer partner Richard Boardman when he left to work for a folk/rock act.

Kemp, who left expressing disappointment at the lack of referrals from Andersen Consulting, said: 'I don't think you can draw a pattern from the departures. But Boardman was the rainmaker, and when he left people must have wondered about their own future.'

But one Garretts insider suggested that the UK is a tough legal market, saying: 'Garretts are finding it is all a lot harder than they thought it would be.'