OSBORNE Clarke has hired three new IT partners all of whom were heads of IT at their old firms.
Paul Gardner joined from Titmuss Sainer Dechert three weeks ago, David Schollenberger joined from SJ Berwin & Co six weeks ago, and Russell Bowyer is to join from Frere Cholmeley Bischoff "shortly" although no date has been set.
Bowyer will head the IT department at the firm's Thames Valley office, while Schollenberger and Gardner will be based in London.
Managing Partner Leslie Perrin said the appointments, along with the hiring of two assistant solicitors from in-house departments at IBM and BT and a major upgrade of its IT (see Infotech, page 8), were part of a strategy to expand the firm's IT law practice which currently accounts for 15 per cent of its overall business.
The firm boasts NetScape as a client. Perrin said there were plans to open a new department in Bristol in addition to those in London and the Thames Valley.
Perrin claimed: "The fusion of IT, telecommunications and media is what law in the 21st century is made of."
Schollenberger said he had joined the firm because it shows "great dedication" to IT and had a "good team atmosphere".