The grass is always greener in the other Field

One of the jewels in Field Fisher Waterhouse’s crown was the German IP team it acquired from Howrey in the run-up to the US firm’s collapse. At the helm of the group that joined in early 2011 was Joachim Feldges, a highly regarded patent litigator who swiftly became Field Fisher’s Teutonic managing partner.

But as we report today, Feldges, a former Clifford Chance Munich head, is set to return to the magic circle with a move to Allen & Overy. He fills a gap left by the exit of a number of IP partners from the elite firm’s German offices, most notably Mannheim office head Marcus Grosch

It’s the end of a hunt for a replacement in the A&O IP practice in Germany, and a good one too, but it’s also the latest in a string of partner departures from pre-merger FFW, which is pressing ahead with talks over a combination with Osborne Clarke.

This week has already seen the departure of London corporate partner Alex Woodfield, the head of its CIS group, while public sector and technology partner Andrew Lucas moved to SNR Denton not long before.

Mergers tend to result in partner exits both during deal negotiations and after they have gone live (think BLG-Clydes), but Osborne Clarke might start getting worried if too many of FFW’s precious stones start heading for the door.

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– And, legal process outsourcer CPA Global hires first-ever GC in the shape of Ancestry.com legal chief Ruth Daniels.