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CLYDE & Co is strengthening its business law group by expanding its Middle East presence and poaching a leading property partner from Olswang.
The departing Olswang partner David Wyatt is taking his clients, which include Carphone Warehouse and Tandy, with him, as his old firm is pulling out of retail property work.
Wyatt says: "I'd been at Olswang for 11 and a half years and enjoyed it - there are lots of reasons for my move but there has been no fall-out.
"I am attracted to Clyde & Co because it is building up its non-contentious business. I have brought my retail practice with me, including clients the Carphone Warehouse, fashion retailers Zara, Tandy and the reject kitchen shop Spoils. As far as I know Olswang are not intending to do retail property any more."
Olswang chief executive Jonathan Goldstein says: "The letting of high street retail outlets was not going to be a central piece of strategy for the medium term and David felt that it would be better if he developed his practice elsewhere. We wish him well."
Clyde & Co commercial partner Anthony Garrod is moving to the firm's Dubai office to join a team of three partners and eight solicitors. Garrod, who grew up in the Gulf and previously practised law there, specialises in commercial contracts, IT, IP and e-commerce law.
Garrod joins Mark Hill, a former Dibb Lupton Alsop IP partner, who joined Clyde & Co last month from Dibbs' Leeds office, as reported by The Lawyer (23 August). Hill is credited with making Dibbs a major player in IP law.
Garrod's role is to be taken by assistant Tony Vitale in the firm's Guildford office, who joined Clyde & Co from Dibbs in January, following an exodus of lawyers from Dibbs' IP department.
Vitale says: "We have a strong team in the Middle East and Europe, and our business law group incorporates commercial law, corporate law, property and IP and IT work, which means we can have a one-stop shop here for our clients.
"We are attracting the sort of business which would make other law firms salivate."