Media firm Schilling & Lom and Partners is opening up its equity partnership, sparked by the hire of three new partners and the loss of name partner Nicholas Lom
Before Lom's departure, only the two name partners had an equity stake. But when the Mirror Group's head of legal Martin Cruddace joins the firm as a partner in April, Schillings will have five equity partners. There are a total of seven partners in the firm, including name partner Keith Schilling, managing partner Simon Smith, partners Eddie Parladorio and Susan Heller, and the three new hires. However, Schilling did not reveal who the lucky five to get equity status would be. Schilling's decision to open up the equity was prompted by the three partner hires. "The people we have now are much more senior and experienced than the people we had, and this is a natural progression," he said. One of the three new partners is sports partner Peter Goodman. He was a non-legal director at image management company CSS and mainly works with clients in the motor racing sector. Cruddace was signed up in November 2001, but cannot join until April as Schilling is representing Naomi Campbell in her libel fight against The Mirror. "Martin won't be in the country until the Campbell case is over. He is coming in April after two months of back-to-back holidays," said Schilling. Finers Stephens Innocent defamation expert Amber Melville Browne joined the firm as a partner last autumn. Cruddace and Melville Browne will defend clients in libel claims, adding a new capability to the largely claimant firm. But the firm will not defend tabloid newspapers, as much of its work involves libel actions against them for celebrity clients. Lom left for Simons Muirhead & Burton in October 2001 (The Lawyer, 29 October 2001).