Keystone takes on Nokia IP head in 10-strong hiring spree

Keystone Law has continued its hiring spree by adding another 10 lawyers from the likes of Berwin Leighton Paisner and Davenport Lyons.

The list of hires also sees the firm, whose lawyers work remotely and are paid on a performance basis, take on Nokia’s director of legal and IP Stephen McCue, who joined Nokia from Vodafone in 2007.

James Knight
James Knight

The remaining laterals include partner Andrew Waite, who joins from Berwin Leighton Paisner; litigation partner Trevor Sears from Davenport Lyons; employment partners Denham Bell and William Addis, who join from Mundays and Brachers respectively; corporate partner Dee Sian, who joins from Marriott Harrison; and commercial property partner Wendy Bishop, who joins from Donaldson West.

Founder James Knight commented: “Over the last few months we’ve seen increased motivation from clients driving their own solicitors to make a move. I think clients are becoming more cost conscious as the downturn in the economy continues, and [as a response] are becoming more aware of the models out there.

“The clients we act for aren’t the large multi-nationals that need massive teams of lawyers, they’re private limited companies that want one partner-level person advising them at senior associate prices.”

After the firm’s last hiring round in January, Knight said the frustrations of senior solicitors and partners at traditional firms had almost reached “epidemic” proportions (30 January 2013).

“Solicitors want to practise law, but the distractions of many law firms – the administration of the practice, management of staff and so on – are such that they have a decreasing amount of time to do so,” he said soon after the firm hired 10 lawyers from firms including Ashurst, DLA Piper, SNR Denton and Speechly Bircham.

In July last year, Knight outlined plans to take on an additional 50 lawyers, setting his sights on achieving £25m turnover within the next three years (12 July 2012).

The firm, whose clients include LoveFilm and Neal’s Yard, anticipates a further 20 hires on top of these by July.