Links shakes up TMT and IP groups with merger

Linklaters has merged its technology, media and telecoms (TMT) and IP practices as it prepares to boost both departments internationally.

Linklaters

has merged its technology, media and telecoms (TMT) and IP practices as it prepares to boost both departments internationally.

Former TMT head Tim Schwarz now leads the newly formed TMT/IP practice. He takes over the IP reins from Nigel Jones, who will focus more on his role as co-head of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector group.

Schwarz said: “A number of offices were not exploiting the synergies between the two, so we decided to bring the two groups under one leadership.

“For example, we haven’t tapped into the outsourcing market for pharma clients and we haven’t tapped into telco clients with our IP capability.”

Linklaters will build up the TMT practice in countries where IP is the focus, such as China and Poland. Conversely, the firm will strengthen IP in jurisdictions where TMT takes the lead, such as Sweden and Spain. Meanwhile, the firm will look to boost both groups in major European jurisdictions such as the UK, Germany, Belgium and France.

“The next step is to build a stronger TMT/IP capability and go into new jurisdictions, such as Hong Kong, New York and the Middle East,” added Schwarz.

Jones came to the end of his term as head of IP at the beginning of this year. The last time Linklaters had a combined TMT/IP practice was in the mid-1990s, but the group was split as it was too big.

The IP practice was a key focus of Linklaters’ massive restructuring between 2002 and 2003, when the firm parted company with 24 partners.