Kemp Little founder Richard Kemp quits to launch own boutique

Kemp Little founding and senior partner Richard Kemp has resigned from the firm’s partnership to launch his own IT boutique. 

Kemp, who set up the London TMT boutique in 1997, left the firm on Friday (2 May 2014), having made the announcement to his clients back in March. His new venture, Kemp IT Law, launches this week.

He retains no stake in Kemp Little, which has now lost both its name partners after Jonathan Little left for Simmons & Simmons in 2005 (7 March 2005). However the firm has no plans to change its name.

There are not believed to be any client restrictions on Kemp’s move, although it is understood that there is a six-month ban on hiring from the firm. As a result, no other associates or partners have joined Kemp IT Law.

”I wanted to get back into fee-earning,” Kemp told The Lawyer, saying he decided to launch the boutique over Christmas. “Technology is changing the legal landscape – compared to 1997, I’ve spent 20 per cent of the price I would on IT for something that’s 10 times better and faster.” 

Kemp is subsequently managing the business from his home in south-west London, with support from his wife, a trained lawyer, and a former assistant. He said he would not rule out the idea of a remote working model as the boutique expands, though at the time of writing had no set goal for the size of the firm.  

“One of the things about doing this is that you don’t know what opportunities will come your way, I didn’t want to take on 20 staff members [straight away] if they have nothing to do,” he added.

While his new firm will specialise in IT law, it will also focus on regulatory and IP law.

The move comes months after Kemp drove forward plans to launch a niche consultancy arm under Kemp Little’s name (16 October 2013). The business, led by former Deloitte partner Chris Wray and Tata Consultancy Services vice president Jim Odell, will not be impacted by Kemp’s exit.

“The impact is that we lose a talented lawyer from the team,” said Kemp Little’s head of commercial technology Calum Murray. 

The firm is not planning to name anyone else as senior partner.