Tarlo Lyons in strategy U-turn to beat tech slump

Niche IT firm Tarlo Lyons has had a strategy overhaul, deciding to refocus on commercial property and dispute resolution to combat the downturn in technology, media and telecoms work

The firm has hired a new dispute resolution team from Fairmays, comprising partner Sarah Rees, consultant Lee Goldsmith and an assistant. This follows the recruitment of three commercial property partners and a corporate partner from Vizards Wyeth last month.
Tarlo Lyons branded itself as an IT firm in the late 1990s to take advantage of the technology boom.
Managing partner Nigel McEwan said: “We're growing a successful commercial property practice. Last year, 60 per cent of our work was technology-driven, which is a greater proportion than any other top 100 firm. The market is always changing and we are always on the lookout for opportunities to exploit.”
Tarlo Lyons has suffered the loss of three IT partners since September last year. One of them, Robert Carolina, who signed up to join Landwell in November 2001, was given the all-clear to take his clients Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, WestLB and Allied Irish Bank with him. The firm's merger talks with Birmingham giant Wragge & Co also broke down last autumn.
The Vizards Wyeth team, including head of commercial property John Hargreaves, brought a significant property and healthcare client base with them, including Mount Anvil Healthcare, Redbourn Group and Albourne Estates.
Tarlo Lyons has also recruited Laetitia Maloney, a senior associate from Coudert, as a partner in its commercial technology department. The firm is adamant it will not lose its IT foothold and is already combining its IT expertise with its commercial property focus.