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Rosenblatt's senior partner has launched an extraordinary attack on one of his partners, who has left to join Osborne Clarke's technology, media and telecoms (TMT) department.
Robert Courtneidge, a consumer finance and technology expert, left Rosenblatt earlier this month to become a partner in Osborne Clarke's London office. He joined Rosenblatt from his own three-partner practice in 1997 and was previously in-house at Citibank International. His move introduces Citibank as a new client to Osborne Clarke and he also takes with him top client Diners Club. He will work alongside TMT head Simon Rendell. Courtneidge said that his move was prompted by the need to offer his banking clients an integrated international service. He was keen to work with a larger support base, and saw the chance to mix his banking and technology work at Osborne Clarke. He decided to leave Rosenblatt when he lost out on what would have been his first piece of work for the corporate, rather than the consumer arm, of Citibank to Denton Wilde Sapte. "When you've got clients such as Citibank and Diners Club, you need a more pan-European approach. We had international assistance on a best friends basis at Rosenblatt, but clients wanted an under-one-roof approach. "I've effectively moved up from having one assistant in a department of five or six to working with some 70 lawyers in TMT and banking. I can offer clients much more targeted advice and a more rounded service." Senior partner Ian Rosenblatt is clearly bitter over the departure, launching into an extraordinary tirade accusing Courtneidge of low billing during the past few months, of dying his hair, wearing fake tan and spending time in lap dancing clubs. "[This year] he was not one of our strongest performing partners," said Rosenblatt, but added that Courtneidge's announcement that he was leaving for Osborne Clarke came as a surprise. Courtneidge disputed Rosenblatt's criticisms but admitted that he had gone to lap dancing clubs - he argued that clients enjoyed them. On the cosmetic allegations he replied: "I care about my appearance, but don't we all? "Ian Rosenblatt is a great guy. Until I left we had a great relationship. That's life. I owe Ian a lot, but I feel the firm made enough money out of me over those four years. I have no axe to grind." Gary Gilford, company solicitor for the UK consumer bank of Citibank International, said: "We found Robert to be excellent in the past and we will continue to use him when appropriate in the future."