Simmons IP losses spurs Linklaters raid

Linklaters raid” />Clients of Simmons & Simmons’ IP team have poached two lawyers for in-house positions, prompting the firm to raid Linklaters’ IP department for replacements.

Imperial Tobacco hired Simmons senior associate Stephen Reid as the company’s new global head of IP, while Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, one of Japan’s biggest pharma companies and a key IP client, hired senior associate Bryan Driscoll as European general counsel.

In response Simmons has bagged three new IP associates from Linklaters to buoy team numbers, including highly rated senior associate Michael Gavey and junior associate Becky Horscroft.

The moves highlight the difficulty IP lawyers have making partner at Linklaters, which promoted its last IP associate in 2004.

At Imperial, Reid will be in charge of protecting well-known brands, such as the Davidoff cigarette trademark, which the company acquired in August for £368m from Tchibo Holding.

Driscoll will join as the chief lawyer for the Takeda Europe Research and Development Centre. Takeda is a major client of the IP group at Simmons and is expected to remain a good source of business.

Simmons has also recruited Kieron Heneghan from FR Kelly & Co in Dublin to work on non-contentious IP matters.

Like Driscoll, Gavey has experience in life sciences regulation, whereas Horscroft and Heneghan will handle trademarks to develop Reid’s practice.

Richard Binns, global head of IP at Simmons, said: “The IP group has continued from where we left off last year – we’re already ahead of budget for the first quarter of this financial year.”