Zeffman finally gets to go to Olswangs

TOP media lawyer David Zeffman has finally joined West End firm Simon Olswang & Co after months of legal wrangling with his former City practice Frere Cholmeley Bischoff.

Zeffman, who started last week as joint head of Olswangs' media and entertainment group, has taken six members of his team with him, depleting Frere's commercial department.

Specialist fee earners Selina Potter, John Enser, Karen Briggs, Greig Morrison, Jane Moore and David Speirs have boosted the group's numbers to 18, including six partners.

Zeffman, at Frere's for 13 years, was a partner with the firm for the past five and headed the commercial department.

When he gave notice, Frere's obtained an ex parte injunction preventing him from discussing the situation.

Until recently it was thought he would have to work out his notice until 5 December.

But he and Olswangs senior partner Simon Olswang say the legal issues surrounding the move have now been resolved.

Zeffman says he approached Olswangs because of its broad-based media team.

“There were various reasons which made me decide to look around which I can't go into. Olswangs was the first and only firm I considered.”

Olswang says he is interested only in getting the “right team” and not in “growing for growth's sake”.

Frere Cholmeley Bischoff chair Frank Presland says: “From Frere Cholmeley Bischoff's point of view, although David Zeffman was a successful young partner, and I am personally sad that he has decided to go across, he was nevertheless only one of 28 partners in the commercial department and only one of seven in the firm's media and entertainment group.”

Olswangs has just released its first annual review. Among other figures it shows a 51 per cent increase in the number of qualified lawyers. The entertainments group carried out in excess of u300 million of programme/channel supply contracts.