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Driscoll claims East Midlands IP market too difficult to break into; Freethcartwright refocuses on non-contentious work
Midlands firm Freethcartwright has lost intellectual property (IP) litigation specialist Helen Driscoll to Martineau Johnson. The firm's former joint head of IP has joined Birmingham-based Martineau Johnson as a partner. Driscoll said of her move from the East to the West Midlands: "The reason why I decided to come to Martineau Johnson was threefold. First, the move gives me a chance to work with [senior partner] Bill Barker. Second, I was really impressed with what I'd heard about the culture and attitude of the firm. And third, a West Midlands base, a developing London office and our membership of the international network Multilaw gives us a great opportunity to go out and get more clients." Driscoll admitted that the East Midlands IP market is difficult to break into. She said that if she wanted to increase the breadth of her work, then such a move was essential. William Barker, senior partner at Martineau Johnson, said: "There are two drivers for Helen's appointment - our IP practice is seeing rapid growth and my own appointment as senior partner has added to the need for new top-flight resources." He added that the firm would be recruiting additional junior-level lawyers during the coming months. Driscoll's arrival takes the number of IP partners at Martineau Johnson up to four, with four other lawyers making up the rest of the practice. Driscoll will fill the space which has been left by Barker's promotion to senior partner. She will be instrumental in developing the firm's strategy for future growth. The Freethcartwright practice will be headed by the group's remaining partner and Driscoll's previous co-head Andrew Margiotta-Mills. Having hired Kerry Grinrod from Manchester firm Metcalfe Johnston McCormick, where she was a partner, the Freethcartwright team is back up to its full strength of four lawyers. The firm's IP practice concentrates on branding and IT work rather than litigation. Speaking of Driscoll's decision to move, Margiotta-Mills said: "Our IP practice isn't really contentious, so it made sense when Helen wanted to move. Helen moving on fitted with the firm focusing on non-contentious IP work, which fits our client base better." He concluded: "It's been great working with Helen and obviously I wish her all the best. I'm sure she'll be a big hit."