Freshfields snaps up IT expert

Freshfields has poached Richard Lister, the driving force behind BerwinLeighton's

commercial IT department, as it seeks to build its IP/ITpractice.Lister, 32, specialises

in telecoms, new media and e-commerce and willjoin Freshfields as a partner.His

departure will come as a severe blow to Berwin Leighton, where he iscredited with having

built up the corporate side of the firm's IT business.Berwin Leighton corporate partner,

Andrew de Boyett, says: “Richard hasbeen a great success for the firm, and a measure of

this success is thatFreshfields is taking him on at partner level.”He is only 32 and he

trained with us and there is a measure ofdisappointment, but also one of inevitability

because we are a medium-sizedfirm.”Avril Martindale, head of Freshfields' IP/IT

department, says: “Richard isquite a rising star in IT, and in the e-commerce sector in

particular, andthis is an area in which we have a huge amount of work at the

moment.”Asked whether her department would be making any more lateral hires,Martindale