Martineau Johnson poaches internet client from Simmons

Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson has become the sole UK legal adviser to a leading US internet company after poaching the work from Simmons & Simmons.

The Nasdaq-listed company, the globe.com (TGLO), is worth around $253m (£158m) and has more than 200 employees internationally.

Martineaus partner Richard Wrigley tells The Lawyer that Simmons & Simmons acted for TGLO when it bought out Martineaus' Midlands-based client, the Games Domain, earlier this year.

Shortly afterwards, Martineaus contacted TGLO's in-house lawyer in New York and asked if it could bid for TGLO's business.

A few conference calls and a trip by Wrigley to TGLO's New York offices – “on my holiday too, I have no life,” he says – clinched the deal.

“In essence, we pinched the account from under their [Simmons & Simmons'] noses,” says Wrigley.

TGLO is run by two 25-year-olds, Todd Krizelman and Stephan Paternot, who were fellow students at Cornell University in New York.

When TGLO was floated in November last year, its shares achieved the all-time highest first day gain of 605 per cent.

Wrigley says: “When they were considering whether to use us, they took a look at our website and gave it the thumbs up. We were rather pleased about that.

“Our experience in the IT field, and in dealing with US clients, were also important factors.”

He adds that the firm has pulled in £60m worth of Anglo-American business this year.

Simmons & Simmons was unavailable for comment as The Lawyer went to press.