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The launch of Cobbetts’ new London office is in jeopardy following a High Court showdown with Wedlake Bell, which has threatened an injunction to stop two partners from joining the firm.
Corporate partners Simon Jones and Stuart Robinson were accused of breaching gardening leave stipulations when Cobbetts formerly announced their arrival last Wednesday (25 April).
Wedlake went head-to-head with Cobbetts in court on Friday and the dispute looks set to run and run, with the parties agreeing in principle to enter arbitration in a desperate bid to resolve the dispute.
Both parties will attend the Royal Court of Justice today (30 May) after details of the arbitration have been negotiated.
Sources at Cobbetts are confident that the events will not affect its plans to launch its corporate practice in London.
Wedlake’s corporate department has been decimated by the departure of Robinson and Jones, another partner Adam Walker and partner-elect Jay Bal, the latter two quitting for Farrer & Co last year.
Tim Penny of 11 Stone Buildings has been instructed by solicitors Goodman Derrick to represent Wedlake. Robert Howe of Blackstone Chambers has been instructed by the defendants’ solicitors Mishcon De Reya.