Blake Lapthorn’s tax team hit by Shoosmiths raid

Blake Lapthorn Linnell has been left with little corporate tax capability following the departure of the firm’s group head Niall Murphy to Shoosmiths.

A qualified accountant and chartered tax advisor as well as a solicitor, Murphy joins the Shoosmith’s Solent office as a partner and its new head of tax after a decade at Blake Lapthorn.

The defection leaves Blake Lapthorn with just one lawyer in its corporate tax team, senior solicitor Elizabeth Anderson. However, Anderson is now understood to be focusing on mainstream corporate work.

Murphy said: “Shoosmiths is a bigger firm with more direction, and is more in tune with the kind of work I do. The firm has a good client base and I know a lot of [its] people already.”

The loss comes at a sensitive time for Blake Lapthorn, which has just negotiated its fourth merger in as many years. The firm sealed its merged with 20-partner IP and IT boutique Tarlo Lyons last month.

Tarlo Lyons, which has faded since coming to prominence during the dotcom boom, has been trying to reinvent itself as a full-service firm and needed the critical mass that a merger would provide.

Blake Lapthorn did not return calls.