Osborne Clarke hires two share scheme partners

Osborne Clarke OWA’s pensions and incentives team has hired a new partner and an assistant as the team loses a partner to Wragge & Co.

The hires strengthen Osborne Clarke’s expertise in the growing share schemes market and are also aimed at boosting its service to international clients.

Karen Cooper comes from Ernst & Young’s London office and joins Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office as a partner. She spent two and a half years as a share schemes and employee benefits consultant with the accountancy firm and was previously at Linklaters & Alliance. Cooper specialises in share incentive arrangements, with particular expertise in international share schemes.

Edward Culver joins the Thames Valley office as an assistant solicitor from Laytons. He will specialise in share schemes for IT and other new economy companies.

The arrivals coincide with the departure of partner Kate Ive, who is relocating to Birmingham and will join Wragge & Co as an associate.

Ive does some share schemes work, but at Osborne Clarke she has focused mainly on pensions work.

Team head Mark Womersley says: “Kate’s departure means that we are looking to strengthen the pensions side, but we are already pretty strong on that. It will give the opportunity for those already here to focus more on pensions work. We feel that the real growth is in share schemes.

“The Government’s current initiatives on share schemes have dramatically increased demand for work in this field, and our team has expanded to reflect this.”

Womersley says that the hires are also a response to the growth of the firm’s corporate client base.

The pensions and incentives group will now have three partners and eight other fee-earners spread across Osborne Clarke’s Bristol and Thames Valley offices.