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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.'