Freshfields' three-partner intellectual property practice is undergoing a shake-up with the exit of partner Paul Taylor and the imminent arrival of partner Avril Martindale from Bristows Cooke Carpmael.
Freshfields' managing partner Ian Terry said: "Paul wants to pursue his speciality IP practice in a different environment to a major City corporate practice. A lot of our IP practice relates to our corporate transactional work."
While IP head Hugh Stubbs carries out transactional, non-contentious IP work, Taylor and the other partner in the practice, Nick Carter, have a background in litigation IP, Terry said.
Meanwhile, Freshfields has recruited commercial IP lawyer Avril Martindale from Lincoln's Inn Fields IP practice Bristows Cooke Carpmael.
Martindale is currently working on a transaction at Bristows and is negotiating with the partnership for her six-month notice period to be reduced.
Terry said no deliberate restructuring of Freshfields' IP practice had occurred. "IP was an area where we believed we ought to be bigger," he said.